The hastily drafted Constitution of Slovakia has proven insufficient to foster the consolidation of democracy, and unsatisfactory to leading political actors. The Constitution's formal rules placed parliament at the centre of power, while informal rules developed since 1994 have allowed the cabinet to take effective control of governance. Because acquiring the parliamentary majority needed to amend the Constitution till 1998 was impossible, these informal rules have expanded to include practices at variance with the Constitution. Since the 1998 elections when a new ruling coalition of four parties emerged, having a required three-fifths majority to change the Constitution, the question of adjusting controversial provisions has been again raised.
The main argument of this chapter is that the preponderance of informal rules has impeded the institutionalization of formal rules and undermined the constitutional government. My attention will be focused on the factors that have contributed to the dominance of informal rules and pushed actors to turn to unconstitutional alternatives. 1 Slovakia's institutional developments are explored in four parts. First, I review institutional traditions and the constitution-making process. Second, I consider the electoral system