1938 Slovak parliamentary election

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1938 Slovak parliamentary election

← 1935 18 December 1938 1948 →

All 63 seats in the Assembly of Slovakia
  First party
  Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2010-0049, Josef Tiso.jpg
Leader Jozef Tiso
Party HSĽS–SSNJ
Seats won 47
Seat change Increase 33
Percentage 97.5%

PM before election

Jozef Tiso
HSĽS–SSNJ

Elected PM

Jozef Tiso
HSĽS–SSNJ

Coat of arms of Slovakia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Slovakia

Parliamentary elections were held in Slovakia on 18 December 1938 following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.

Background[edit]

On 6 October 1938 Slovakia declared autonomy,[a] with Hlinka's Slovak People's Party (HSĽS) becoming the dominant political party in Slovakia. Some parties were partially forced to merge with HSĽS, whilst others were forbidden (Jewish parties, the Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party) or their activities were suspended (e.g. Slovak National Party which refused to "voluntarily" join HSĽS). New Hlinka's Slovak People's Party - The Party of Slovak National Unity (HSĽS-SSNJ) then organized rigged elections to strengthen its position in Slovakia and for further negotiations with the central government.

The elections were announced in the afternoon on Saturday 26 November 1938. Political parties were required to register by the next day, but the information was only officially published on Monday and in the daily press the following Thursday.[1] The campaign contained strong anti-Czech and anti-Jewish propaganda, with those seeking to vote against labelled as traitors.

Electoral system[edit]

The election took the form of a referendum, with voters asked only one question "Do you want a new, free Slovakia?"[2] The elections were supervised by the Hlinka Guard, which had to find out how people voted. In many places, the government created separate polling stations for members of national minorities to trace their political preferences and "loyalty".

Voters were presented with a United List of 63 candidates, of whom 47 were members of the Slovak People's Party, four were from the former Agrarian Party, two from the German Party, one from the Hungarian minority and the remaining nine were members of former parties.[2]

Results[edit]

Choice Votes % Seats
United List 97.5 63
Against 2.5
Total 100 63
Source: Teich et al.

Aftermath[edit]

Josef Tiso used the results for the reconstruction of the autonomous government, thus weakening the influence of other former parties which "voluntarily" joined HSĽS. The first session of the new Diet of the Slovak Land was held on 18 January 1939, with Martin Sokol elected as its chairman and Jozef Tiso as Prime Minister.[2][3] On 14 March the Diet voted for independence under pressure from Hitler's ultimatum.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The new status was confirmed on 22 November 1938, when the National Assembly passed a law granting Slovakia political autonomy

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nižňanský, Eduard (2010). Nacizmus, holokaust, slovenský štát [Nazism, holocaust, Slovak state] (in Slovak). Bratislava: Kalligram. p. 77. ISBN 978-80-8101-396-6.
  2. ^ a b c Mikuláš Teich, Dušan Kováč, Martin D. Brown (2011) Slovakia in History, Cambridge University Press, p169
  3. ^ President Tiso - A much maligned priest Church in History
  4. ^ Stanislav J. Kirschbaum (2006) Historical Dictionary of Slovakia, Scarecrow Press, p51