Slovakia’s constitutional referendum to bring forward elections fails due to lack of turnout

Archive – Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger. – Pavol Zachar/TASR/dpa

A referendum on a constitutional amendment to bring forward elections has been declared invalid in Slovakia due to low turnout: only 27 percent of voters went to the polls, far short of the required 50 percent.

Supporters of the constitutional amendment wanted to allow early elections in Slovakia, as is common in other EU countries, however 97.5 percent of voters declared themselves against this option, although their decision has no effect.

Until now, the Slovak Constitution has stipulated that the Parliament, which is elected for a four-year term, cannot be dissolved before a certain time even if a government falls apart and a majority for a new coalition cannot be found.

The left-wing opposition proposed the referendum after about 400,000 voters signed a petition to make the change.

Currently ruling in Bratislava is a populist conservative three-party coalition, led by Prime Minister Eduard Heger, without a parliamentary majority and heading for an electoral hecatomb in the upcoming elections, according to all polls.

This has not prevented the coalition parties from doing everything possible to avoid the referendum, although two decades have passed since the last plebiscite that reached the necessary participation threshold in the country.