The political party system in Slovakia in the era of Mečiarism. The experiences of the young democracies of central European countries
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This article aims to reconstruct the functioning of political parties that was present during the establishment of the foundations of the democratic system and political practice, from the “Velvet Revolution” to the creation of a competitive party system with a dominant political party – Movement for Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) set up by Vladimir Mečiar; who served as prime minister in the years 1993–1998 (including a hiatus in 1994) greatly affecting the state internal and international policy, and held the post of the sole chairman of the party until its dissolution. V. Mečiar’s rule was marked by the interweaving of the elements of the wave of democratization with the reverse wave of de-democratization. The pro-democratic and undemocratic tendencies displayed by Mečiar were determined – apart from objective factors – by the personality traits of the prime minister: his commanding and charismatic leadership style, authoritarianism, making public decisions in a ruthless manner devoid of impartiality, or violations of democratic norms and values. Apart from its scientific purpose, this article may also fulfil a practical function allowing the possibility of using the research findings in social practice/politics.