Pro-Russian ex-PM Fico wins Slovak election, needs allies for government

Pro-Russian ex-PM Fico wins Slovak election, needs allies for government

Slovakia’s former Prime Minister Robert Fico, a leftist, emerged victorious in the parliamentary election by campaigning to end military aid to Ukraine. However, he will need to gain support from other parties to form the next government, according to nearly complete results. Fico’s SMER-SSD party led with 23.37% of the vote, followed by the Progressive Slovakia (PS) party with 16.86% and the HLAS (Voice) party with 15.03%, which could play a crucial role in forming the government. Peter Pellegrini, the leader of HLAS, kept his options open regarding future coalitions.

If Fico and his SMER-SSD party lead the government, Slovakia would join Hungary in challenging the European Union’s consensus on supporting Ukraine, at a time when the bloc aims to maintain unity against Russia’s invasion. This would also signify a further shift in the region towards political conservatism, which could be reinforced if Poland’s conservative PiS party wins its upcoming election. Fico’s party is more nationalist and socially conservative, criticizing social liberalism imposed by Brussels, while the PS is liberal on issues such as green policies, LGBT rights, European integration, and human rights.

Fico’s party is waiting for the final count before evaluating the situation and commenting on the full results. Exit polls had favored the PS party, but the final results favored Fico, raising the possibility of him becoming the prime minister for the fourth time. The first party to cross the line is expected to receive a mandate from President Zuzana Caputova to lead talks on forming a parliamentary majority and, if successful, a government. Fico may align with HLAS and the nationalist Slovak National Party to form a coalition.

PS advocates for maintaining Slovakia’s strong support for Ukraine and would likely adopt a liberal stance within the EU on issues such as majority voting, green policies, and LGBT rights. PS leader Michal Simecka expressed hope of forming the next government, depending on the smaller allies’ outcomes. Any potential coalition involving PS would likely require HLAS and include more right-wing or socially conservative parties, which would dilute its socially progressive and EU-integration agenda.

The incoming government in Slovakia, with a population of 5.5 million, will inherit a significant budget deficit, projected to be the highest in the euro zone. Fico capitalized on dissatisfaction with the previous center-right coalition government, which collapsed last year, triggering the early election. He emphasized concerns about the increasing number of migrants passing through Slovakia to Western Europe. Fico’s views align with the traditionally warm sentiments towards Russia among many Slovaks, which have gained traction on social media since the start of the Ukraine war. He has pledged to end military supplies to Ukraine and pursue peace talks, a position similar to Hungary’s Viktor Orban but rejected by Ukraine and its allies.

The far-right Republika party, a potential ally for Fico, failed to win any seats and was deemed unacceptable by other parties. Fico was forced to resign in 2018 following mass protests against corruption that followed the murder of an investigative journalist. Pellegrini, a member of SMER-SSD at the time, took over and led the government until 2020 when center-right parties promising to combat corruption won the election. However, their government collapsed last year due to internal conflicts, leading to the early election. Analysts and diplomats suggest that Fico may moderate his rhetoric if he assumes power, as he has done in the past.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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