Regional Elections in Slovakia – a New Reformation of the Slovak Political Scene?
Abstract: The aim of the present study is to analyse the events and results of the elections to bodies of regional self-governments in Slovakia in November 2017. The elections were held under the conditions of the amended legislation after the abolition of the two-tier election system of the presidents of the regions. The study analyses the process of forming pre-election coalitions and the mobilisation of voters. The research is based primarily on official election results as well as political party documents and information published in the media. Although the strongest body of the ruling coalition, Direction – Social Democracy Party, obtained the highest number of seats, there was a marked drop in voter participation. This is a continuation of a trend in evidence in the parliamentary elections in 2016. The regional elections of 2017 signalled, in contrast, the consolidation of the right-wing opposition (SaS, OĽaNO, and KDH), whose agenda contains elements of anti-European and anti-party populism.
Keywords: Slovakia; regional elections 2017; electoral turnout; Smer-SD [Direction – Social Democracy]; Marián Kotleba.