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Gordon Wightman and Sona Szomolányi, "Parties and Society in Slovakia," Party Politics , 1 (October, 1995), 609-618.

First Paragraph:
Five years after the November 1989 'velvet revolution' that ended communist rule and permitted the revival of a genuine political pluralism, Slovakia's future continued to look uncertain. Parliamentary elections, held on 30 September and 1 October 1994, almost two years ahead of schedule and less than two years after Slovakia's attainment of independence, only increased that uncertainty and appeared to confirm that its transition was moving along a different path from that of other post-communist states.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Results of the elections to the National Council of the Slovak Republic, 30 September and 1 October 1994.

Last paragraph:
Indeed, Slovak society appeared much more fragmented than was suggested by the polarization within the parliament after the elections. It was rather the increasing polarization of political elites (see Szomolanyi, 1995: 17-20) that brought the risk of a shift to more authoritarian rule as the nonstandard parties attempted to assert their dominance (reflected only partly in the references above to some of the steps taken to gain control of the media, the intelligence service and privatization agencies). Yet, if Slovakia's transition to democracy seemed likely to be delayed by the outcome of the 1994 elections,the potential instability of the new governing coalition, a peculiar combination of extreme nationalism, extreme leftism and a party whose leader, Vladimir Meciar, described it in early 1995 as 'a popular movement of the pragmatic centre' (Narodna obroda , 27 March 1995), provided some hope that any reversion to authoritarianism would soon be superseded by a return to that democratic path.