Information on elections

A constitutional referendum was held in Slovakia on 21 January.

Electoral results

"YES":1.163.586 votes, 97,51%
"NO": 18.398 votes, 1,54%
Total: 1.193.198 votes, 27,25% turnout, 0.93% invalid (11,214 votes)
Source: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic

About the referendum

Proposed changes

Direction – Slovak Social Democracy (SMER), Voice-Social Democracy (HLAS), Slovak National Party (SNS), and have expressed support for a popular initiative referendum to hold an early election at the start of 2021. Just before the resignation of Igor Matovi as prime minister, they handed to the president of Slovakia, Zuzana Čaputová, 585,000 signatures. The proposed referendum should be legal because it would modify the constitution, according to the Slovakian Constitutional Court, which determined that the proposed question was "a violation of broad constitutional standards." In August 2022, a fresh gathering of signatures was arranged; a total of 406,000 signatures were submitted. This time, the organizers put forward two questions: one would call for the National Council to be changed to allow for the calling of an early election, and the other would demand the resignation of Heger's administration. Regarding the second query, Čaputová made the decision to submit an initiative to the Constitutional Court, which drew condemnation from the opposition. Later, the second question was declared to be unlawful by the Constitutional Court, and Čaputová declared that the referendum would take place on January 21, 2023. The question on the referendum paper was posed as "Do you agree that the early termination of the election period of the National Council of the Slovak Republic can be carried out by a referendum or a resolution of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, namely by changing the Constitution of the Slovak Republic?"


The Direction - Slovak Social Democracy (SMER) has repeatedly tried to call for early elections, which has prompted the constitutional referendum. The Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OaNO) won the 2020 parliamentary election after Ján Kuciak's assassination in 2018, outpolling SMER. Peter Pellegrini was succeeded as prime minister of Slovakia by OaNO leader Igor Matovi, who also led a coalition administration with the parties We Are Family (SR), Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), and For the People (Z). Matovi was forced to resign as prime minister and was succeeded by Eduard Heger as a result of a political crisis in March 2021 that was brought on after Matovi announced the acquisition of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines without getting the consent of his coalition colleagues. OaNO, SR, SaS, and Z continued to work together despite SaS's departure from the cabinet in September 2022 as a result of disagreements over economic policy. A motion of no confidence was made against Heger's administration in December 2022, and it was approved. SaS leader Richard Sulk declared he would be in favor of forming a new government, but Zuzana Čaputová, president of Slovakia, declared that Heger will continue to serve as caretaker leader of government. Parliamentarians have the opportunity to change the constitution and hold early elections; if they don't, a new government will be created.

Selected articles

Slovakia: September election likely after failed referendum, 23 January, (Deutsche Welle)

Democracy Digest: Slovakia set for Referendum and early election, 20 January, (Reporting Democracy)