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2012 Election - Robert Fico

Early elections in March 2012 followed the collapse of the coalition government in October 2011 which had been divided over whether to support an expanded eurozone bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). The country's first female Prime Minister, Ms. Iveta Radicova of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union - Democratic Party (SDKU - DS), subsequently lost a vote of confidence in parliament. Former Prime Minister Robert Fico's Smer-Social Democracy (Smer-SD) - which pledged to maintain a welfare state, increase corporate tax and raise income tax for the highest earners - was victorious, taking 83 of the 150 seats at stake. His Smer-SD became the first party in Slovakia to govern on its own since the country split from Czechoslovakia in 1993.

Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic and leaders of the country's major political parties failed to reach an agreement on an interim caretaker government to guide the country until early elections in March 2012, two years early. Slovakia's constitution mandates that the president dismiss the four-party coalition government of Prime Minister Iveta Radicova after it failed a confidence vote last week. However, the constitution does not specify a deadline for the president to do so.

Slovakia's former prime minister Robert Fico returned to his old job after his left-wing Smer party (which translates as "Direction") trounced its opponents in parliamentary election on 10 March 2012. With nearly all the votes counted, preliminary results showed Smer winning 84 of 150 seats - enough for Fico to govern on his own if he chose not to form a coalition. Smer was expected to finish far ahead of the conservative SDKU party, led by outgoing Prime Minister Iveta Radicova. Fico, who was Slovak prime minister from 2006 to 2010, campaigned on promises to preserve the welfare system while raising taxes on corporations and the rich.

The party Most-Hid (Bridge), which promotes greater cooperation between the countrys Hungarian minority and ethnic Slovaks, held 13 seats in parliament, nine of which were occupied by ethnic Hungarians. The March elections also brought in the first Romani Member of Parliament (MP) since the Slovak Republic gained independence. Roma nevertheless continued to be underrepresented in communal and national elective bodies. NGOs expressed concerns over vote buying tactics targeting marginalized Romani communities during the March parliamentary elections, as well as anti-Romani rhetoric by extremist and some mainstream political parties in campaigns.

Prime Minister Robert Fico and millionaire-philanthropist Andrej Kiska faced off 29 March 2014 after beating 12 other candidates 16 March 2014 for the largely ceremonial post of president. Final results show Fico won 28 percent of the vote and Kiska received 24 percent. Fico is an ex-communist and leader of the SMER-Social Democracy party that controlled Slovakia's parliament. Kiska is non-partisan with no communist past and attracted voters as a newcomer untainted by the kind of corruption allegations that have been leveled at Slovakia's right wing.

Andrej Kiska won the run-off on 30 March 2014, and would take up his post after the incumbent President Ivan Gaparovics term ended in June. Kiska, who was the first-ever independent candidate with no political background whatsoever to win the presidential election, received 59.38 percent of the vote (1,307,065 votes), while Prime Minister Robert Fico, the official candidate of the ruling Smer party, garnered the support of 40.61 percent (893,841 votes). The turnout was 50.48 percent.

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