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Slovakia's Judicial Shake-up: A Leap Toward 'Orbanization'?

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BNN Correspondents
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Slovakia's Judicial Shake-up: A Leap Toward 'Orbanization'?

In a significant political move that might reshape Slovakia's judicial landscape, politicians Robert Fico, Andrej Danko, and Peter Pellegrini have proposed the abolition of the Specialized Criminal Court and the Special Prosecutor's Office. These institutions have been pivotal in the fight against corruption, organized crime, and crimes committed by constitutional officials. However, the proposed dismantling is seen as an unprecedented encroachment of executive power into the judiciary and is likely to resonate with anti-establishment voters, including supporters of non-parliamentary parties such as Republica and Kotlebovci, and the current coalition.

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Aligning with Anti-Establishment Sentiments

The politicians initiating this move have been previously associated with various political factions. Now, they are perceived as aligning with anti-establishment sentiments. In particular, Andrej Danko and his team, including Tomáš Taraba, are expected to celebrate this development on social media platforms, signifying a triumph over traditional institutions.

The Impact on Peter Pellegrini's Hlas Party

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However, the reaction from the voters of Peter Pellegrini's Hlas party remains uncertain. Pellegrini has sought to position Hlas as a modern social-democratic party, distinct from extremist groups. These judicial changes, if perceived as crossing a red line, could potentially lead to the loss of liberal and social democratic votes, impacting Pellegrini's presidential ambitions.

'Orbanization' of Slovakia: A Growing Concern

The broader context of this development hints at the 'Orbanization' of Slovakia. The term refers to a trend of authoritarian governance, as witnessed in Hungary under Viktor Orban's rule. This move by Fico, Danko, and Pellegrini raises concerns about the future of democratic institutions and the rule of law in Slovakia, setting the stage for a potentially tumultuous political landscape.

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