After the Communist Party took power in Feb. 1948, Slovakia was again subjected to a centralized Czech dominated government, and antagonism between the two republics developed. In January 1969, the nation became the Slovak Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia. “The imposition of communist regime extinguished civil liberties and democratic institutions”
Nearly 42 years of Communist rule for Slovakia ended when Vaclav Havel became president of Czechoslovakia in 1989 and democratic political reform began. However, with the demise of Communist power, a strong Slovak nationalist movement resurfaced, and the rival relationship between the two states increased. By the end of 1991, discussions between Slovak and Czech political leaders turned to whether the Czech and Slovak republics should continue to coexist within the federal structure or be divided into two independent states.
After the general election in June 1992, it was decided that two fully independent republics would be created. “Czechoslovakia ended because it was no longer necessary”. The Republic of Slovakia came into existence on Jan. 1, 1993. The parliament in February elected Michal Kovac as president. Populist Vladimir Meciar, who served three times as Slovakia's prime minister, exhibited increasingly authoritarian behavior and was cited as the reason Slovakia was for a time eliminated from consideration for both the EU and NATO. “The coming to power of the HZDS-SNS-ZRS coalition after the elections of 1994 had a negative impact on the quality of democracy in Slovakia” Slovakia's very low influx of foreign capital during Meciar's tenure was the result of his government's lack of transparency. Meciar was unseated in 1998 elections by the reformist government of Mikulás Dzurinda. In April 2000 Meciar was arrested and charged with paying illegal bonuses to his cabinet ministers while in office. A three week standoff with police preceded the arrest, ending only when police commandos blew open the door on Meciar's