Officially: Slovenská Republika.
English: Slovakia.
Seat of government: Bratislava.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The parliament (Národná Rada) is elected by party-list proportional representation, and chooses the prime minister. The president is elected directly.
Governing parties: Smer – Sociálna Demokracia
Heads of government: Robert Fico, prime minister; Andrej Kiska, president.
Other parliamentary parties: Kresťanskodemokratické Hnutie, led by Ján Figeľ; Obyčajní Ľudia a Nezávislé Osobnosti, led by Igor Matovič; Most-Híd, led by Bugár Béla; Slovenská Demokratická a Kresťanská Únia – Demokratická Strana, led by Pavol Frešo; Sloboda a Solidarita, led by Richard Sulík.
Notable non-parliamentary parties: Slovenská Národná Strana, led by Andrej Danko; Magyar Közösség Pártja, led by Berényi József; Ľudová Strana – Hnutie za Demokratické Slovensko, led by Vladimír Mečiar.
Recent history: Spent several years after the dissolution of Československo in illiberal government under Mečiar (1992-4, 1994-8) and the HZDS, but improved under a long-serving centrist coalition led by Mikuláš Dzurinda (1998-2006) of the SDKÚ. A 2004 election for the ceremonial presidency saw Mečiar defeated by former ally Ivan Gašparovič (2004-14), but Mečiar’s ĽS-HZDS returned to government under Smer and Fico after the 2006 election; partner SNS was also worrisome. A 2010 election saw Smer win a large plurality among official parties, but an opposition coalition win a majority; Iveta Radičová of SDKÚ-DS became prime minister. In 2012, Smer won an outright majority in parliamentary elections. Kiska defeated Fico in a 2014 presidential runoff.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 7.33 (44), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2014 November 1.