Slovakia will today hold parliamentary elections.
The vote comes as amid the trial concerning the murders of journalist Jan Kuciak and his finance, Martina Kusnirova. The case has exposed corruption at the highest levels of Slovakian society—businesspeople, politicians and judges are accused of colluding for political and financial gain.
Amid this publicity, Slovakians last year elected liberal Zuzanna Caputova—a politically inexperienced lawyer, who campaigned on anti-corruption—as president over the ruling populist Smer party’s candidate. Despite the increase in popularity for the two liberal and centrist parties, neither is likely to garner enough of the vote individually to dominate parliament. However, with a fifth of Slovakians identifying as undecided, a coalition of liberal and centrist parties could end up in control of parliament.
Leading the polls at 17%, Smer is set to survive the scandal. Indeed, if Smer aligns itself with the far-right People’s Party-Our Slovakia, which is polling at around 10%, it may gain the majority of seats in parliament.
Should Smer win today, expect little progress on corruption. Even if a liberal-centralist coalition dominates, expect disunity among the parties to hinder the anti-corruption fight.
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Saira is an analyst in the Current Developments team, where she focuses her research on the Middle East and North Africa region.