Populist, pro-Russia Fico’s party to win Slovakia’s elections | EUROtoday

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

A populist party that wishes to cease army assist to Ukraine and is essential of the EU and NATO has received Slovakia’s election, outcomes confirmed on Sunday.

Issued on: Modified:

3 min

The Smer-SD party led by former prime minister Robert Fico scored 23.3 p.c, beating the centrist Progressive Slovakia on 17 p.c, with nearly all votes counted.

The 59-year-old Fico has vowed that Slovakia is not going to ship “a single round of ammunition” to Ukraine and has known as for higher relations with Russia.

Analysts predict a Fico authorities may seriously change Slovakia’s international coverage to resemble that of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Smer is ready to clinch 42 seats within the 150-member parliament and so will want coalition companions for a majority.

The leftwing Hlas-SD, which emerged in 2020 when a bunch of Smer lawmakers give up Fico’s party, is one potential accomplice, with an anticipated 27 seats.

Hlas is led by Peter Pellegrini, who grew to become Slovakia’s premier in 2018 after Fico had to step down amid nationwide protests following the homicide of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee.

Kuciak uncovered hyperlinks between the Italian mafia and Fico’s authorities in his final article revealed posthumously.

Pellegrini instructed reporters it was not a good suggestion to have two former prime ministers in a single authorities, however “that doesn’t mean such a coalition is impossible”.

Analyst Branislav Kovacik from Matej Bel University within the central metropolis of Banska Bystrica instructed AFP he anticipated Pellegrini to take part a coalition.

“He may not sit in the cabinet. He may become the parliament speaker, he already did that in the past and did a good job.”

The two events may group up with the nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS), which is predicted to win 10 seats, for a parliamentary majority of 79 seats.

Fico already shaped a authorities with the SNS, which can also be opposed to army assist for Ukraine, twice previously.

Slovakia has been considered one of Europe’s largest donors to Ukraine as a share of its GDP.

Slovak Defence Minister Martin Sklenar visited Kyiv simply forward of the vote, and on election day Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Slovakia for “standing with Ukraine”.

‘Closer to Hungary’

“We must carefully listen to what Fico is very openly saying,” impartial analyst Grigorij Meseznikov instructed AFP.

The Progressive Slovakia party's Michal Simecka (l) and Smer-SD leader Robert Fico chat after a televised electoral debate this week
The Progressive Slovakia party’s Michal Simecka (l) and Smer-SD chief Robert Fico chat after a televised electoral debate this week © VLADIMIR SIMICEK / AFP

“He is spreading pro-Russian narratives and… that’s a serious thing. It won’t be so easy to make good on the threat, but… he will try, and we’ll be closer to Hungary then,” he added.

Hungary is seen as a troublemaker within the EU, incessantly criticised over rule-of-law points and hampering EU and NATO efforts to assist Ukraine.

Slovakia’s subsequent parliament may even embody the centrist OLaNO party of maverick former premier Igor Matovic, in workplace in 2020-2021, who bought concerned in a fistfight with a Smer member in the course of the heated marketing campaign.

OLaNO led a three-party coalition that’s set to win 16 seats.

The centrist Christian Democrats and the right-wing SaS additionally garnered sufficient votes to have seats in parliament.

‘The pure alternative’

Voting for Smer in Bratislava, Eliska Spisakova stated the party was “the natural choice for the working poor, people like me”.

“I have a high opinion of (Fico), he focuses mainly on the needs of us Slovaks,” she instructed AFP.

The election marketing campaign was marked by significantly excessive charges of on-line disinformation, usually concentrating on Progressive Slovakia chairman Michal Simecka, a European Parliament vice-speaker.

A examine by the Globsec assume tank final yr confirmed a majority of Slovaks imagine common conspiracy theories.

Although many Slovaks have expertise with the Moscow-steered communist regime, many have voted for populists who share Kremlin views.