Slovak Referendum to Push Ahead with Early Elections Fails

Referendum on Saturday in Slovakia does not reach the 50% participation required for its validity

This past Sunday (January 22nd, 2023), the Slovak Electoral Office reported that the referendum held this past Saturday about a constitutional amendment did not meet the minimum 50% participation necessary for its validity.

Only 27% of the 4.5 million voters called out to the polls showed up, far below the minimum needed. 97.5% of those that did vote were in favor of allowing legislative elections to be brought forward, something not currently written in its Magna Carta.

The referendum was a gauge of how the Social Democratic opposition would fare in the election. As it stands, the party is fractured. On the one side is SMER, led by former prime minister Robert Fico, and on the other is Hlas, led by Peter Pellegrini.

Despite a snowstorm and power outages across Slovakia, the referendum was peaceful. The three main representatives of the Slovak state (President, Prime Matters, and Head of Parliament) did not even show up to vote.

A proposal will be proposed on Tuesday to the Parliament to hold early elections. It would need at least 90 out of 150 deputies voting in favor to pass. The center-right coalition (formed after the 2020 elections) had a majority of 93, but now with the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and energy crisis due to the war with Russia and Ukraine, there is a lot of disagreement between the partners.

Slovakia has been one of the countries most supportive of Kyiv during the Russian offense.

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