The lifting of censorship, the proliferation of new political parties, and the democratization of national and local governments following the collapse of Communist rule at the end of 1989 created opportunities for Slovak political leaders to promote issues in limbo under Communist rule, in particular those having to do with Slovak nationalism and Slovak grievances against the Czechs. Indeed, open, free, and competitive elections for parliament allowed Slovak politicians to develop a power base they could use to defend their interests.
From 1990 onward, Slovak nationalist sentiment surfaced dramatically and expressed itself directly in discontent with the Czechoslovak political system. Slovak political leaders believed that the new postCommunist democratic system perpetuated many of the faults of the past, continuing Czech dominance of the national government in Prague. They wanted equality with the Czechs through a transformation of the Czechoslovak state into a confederation. But, Czechs and Slovaks could never agree on the constitutional makeup of a post-Communist Czechoslovak state. At the end of 1992, the Republic of Czechoslovakia split into two separate and sovereign independent administrative entities: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In the early 1990s, Slovak political leaders believed that the national government in Prague did not adequately recognize the Slovak national identity. In addition Prague's free market reforms, in their view, did not