Alliance of the New Citizen (Aliancia nového občana, ANO)

The liberal Alliance of the New Citizen was registered by the Slovak Ministry of Interior in May 2001. The party was closely connected with the Markíza TV channel, owned by businessman Pavol Rusko who actually became the first chairman of the party. Other personalities  working  at  the  channel  became  prominent  members  of  the party’s  leadership  –  including  among  others  Ľubomír  Lintner  and Eva Černá. ANO was formed a year and a half before the 2002 general election, with the only purpose being to succeed and enter the National Council. In 2002 the party proved to be a successful project when it a little more than eight percent of the votes and became part of the centre-right coalition together with SDKÚ – DS, KDH and SMK. Participation in the government, however, brought a series of scandals which resulted in the departure of several prominent politicians from the party. is development led to defeat in the 2004 European elections in which ANO acquired slightly less than the required five percent threshold and failed to enter the European parliament. Before the general election of 2006 there remained just a few people from the original party leadership and ANO competed with several liberal rightwing formations, one of which was formed by deserters from ANO. These circumstances led to yet another electoral defeat in 2006 and thus the party’s absence from the National Council. From 2007 the chairman of the party was Róbert Nemcsics, however the party did not participate in the subsequent European elections of 2009 and the general election of 2010.

Election manifesto 2006

The political program of ANO for the 2006 general election is clearly a liberal document with minimum appeals to national feelings. ANO was strongly committed to human rights and tolerance. ANO rejects not only racism and xenophobia but also nationalism as a concept. ANO stressed anti-nationalism and explicitly valued individuals over the state. The state is in this meaning understood as a service organization for the citizenry.  It should pursue  the  common  good for all citizens of the state without regard to their ethnicity. Similarly ANO detached itself from arbitral Christian morality and supported typically  liberal  issues  such  as  the  rights  of  sexual  minorities,  and specifically civil union for same-sex couples.This opposition towards a nationally defined state does not mean that ANO completely omitted nationally specific references. On the contrary, its manifesto mentioned Milan Rastislav Štefánik, the first Czechoslovak Minister of War and one of the most popular Slovak politicians, it supported the use of tourism as a way to promote the Slovak Republic abroad and it called for an active foreign policy in order to support Slovak exports and to protect Slovak energy security. In respect to the European Union, ANO was a strong supporter of further integration, especially the adoption of the common European currency.  ANO was also open  towards  immigration  and  towards Hungary, which it considered to be a good neighbor rather than a threat to national sovereignty.