Slovakia: 2002 Elections Page: 4 of 6
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ambitious reforms, would oust Dzurinda. However, when the votes were tallied, the
SDKU prevailed - by being runner-up.
Election Results of Slovakia's 2002 Parliamentary Elections
(Coalition partners in italics)
Party % of Vote Seats
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HzDS) 19.5 36
Slovak Christian and Democratic Union (SDKU) 15.1 28
Smer 13.5 25
Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) 11.2 20
Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) 8.3 15
New Citizens' Alliance (ANO) 8.0 15
Communist Party of Slovakia (KSS) 6.3 11
The HzDS received just under one-fifth of the vote - the party's poorest showing
ever in a parliamentary election; although this figure constituted a plurality, Meciar was
unable to persuade any other parties to form a coalition with the HzDS. Instead, the
second-place SDKU teamed up with the SMK, the KDH, and ANO. Another surprise
was the vote for the Communist Party of Slovakia (KSS); this was the first time in post-
communist history that it had passed the electoral threshold to win seats in the legislature.
Although two-dozen parties ran candidates in the elections, only 7 surpassed the 5%
electoral threshold. Nearly 20% of the vote went for small parties that failed to gain
representation; the proportional distribution of their votes among the parties that crossed
the threshold enabled the four coalition parties, which together received just 43% of the
vote, to secure a majority - 78 of 150 - of the seats in parliament.
The election results surprised nearly everyone. Martin Simecka, editor of Sme,
Slovakia's most influential newspaper, termed Dzurinda "phoenix-like," adding that "a
week ago, no-one would have bet a penny on him."5 Many observers believe that the
election results signaled a vote for moderation and reform. Markets reacted favorably,
and the Slovak crown strengthened against the euro. The four parties that make up the
new governing coalition are more ideologically compatible than the last government. And
close cooperation will be necessary as the government grapples with a host of tough
issues, including privatization, unemployment, health care, pensions, and the judiciary.
Western governments responded positively to the election results; U.S. ambassador
to Slovakia Ronald Weiser stated that Slovaks had endorsed "those who share the
democratic values and principles of the United States and NATO," while a Brussels
5 Centre-Right Poll Win Boosts Slovakia's EU Chances. By Robert Anderson. Financial Times.
September 23, 2002. p. 3.
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Slovakia: 2002 Elections, report, November 7, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc808659/m1/4/: accessed January 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.