Robert Fico, leader of the Smer-SD party that won Slovakia’s elections, said government formation talks will last “two weeks.” Fico spoke at a press conference in Bratislava, saying that Slovakia has more important issues than relations with Ukraine. Let’s see who he is and what the election results were.
Who is the pro-russian Robert Fico
Prime Minister Robert Fico, who sympathizes with Putin and openly opposes arms transfers to Ukraine, led his Smer-SD party to victory in the Slovak elections with 23 percent of the vote.
He will now form a government and become prime minister for the fourth time. The decisive election battle, which until the end looked like a tie, ended without a runoff with the defeat of MP Michal Simecka’s Progressive Party of Slovak Freedom.
President Zuzana Kaputova is waiting for the winner of the elections to be authorized to form a government.
The possibility of a three-way coalition opens up for Fico with Peter Pellegrini’s Hlas-Sd party and the Slovak National Party (Sns). This coalition would have a comfortable majority with 79 deputies (out of 150 members of the National Assembly). But lacking a constitutional majority, it could change Slovakia, as Viktor Orbán did in Hungary, by changing the electoral and judicial systems.
Fico’s political manifesto
Fico has led the cabinet three times and has shown himself to be a pro-European politician who wants to put Slovakia at the center of the EU, introduced the euro, and visited the White House. After three and a half years in opposition, his rhetoric has become radicalized.
During the stormy election campaign he attacked the EU, criticized Brussels’ anti-Russian sanctions, threatened migrants and refused to send “not a single bullet” to Ukraine, which is struggling against Russian aggression.
Not only that, he has criticized NATO, attacked the LGBT minority, called President Zuzana Kaputova a “Soros stooge,” and attacked Interim Government Prime Minister Ludovit Odor.
It remains to be seen which of his pre-election intentions and statements will actually be realized. As President Kaputova said in an interview with Czech TV channel ct24, what seems realistic is “a mental alienation from the West.”
The early elections were triggered by a dispute between the leaders of the Oran party, led by Igor Matovic. And the Freedom and Solidarity (SAS) party, led by economist Richard Slick, who left the governing coalition last year. The cabinet of Matovic’s then party colleague Eduard Hager lost its majority in parliament and was subsequently challenged. MPs then decided to go to early elections.
In May this year, Hager’s government was replaced by a technocratic government led by economist Ludovit Odor. Yesterday’s election turnout was 67.4 percent, the highest since 2002.
Simecka: ‘We will prevent Fico from forming government’
The leader of Progressive Slovakia, which came second in parliamentary elections, said his party now aims to prevent Robert Fico’s first party, Smer-Sd, from forming a coalition government and respected the fact that he had the first initiative.
Simekka told Slovak TV Ta3, “We got 18 percent of the votes of 500,000 Slovaks. We are the second strongest party in the National Assembly. We greet this victory, but it is bad news for the country. Our goal is to make sure that this does not happen,” Simecka said.
Orban’s good wishes to Fico
“Guess who’s back? Robert Fico, I congratulate you on your decisive victory in the Slovak parliamentary elections. It is a great pleasure to work with a patriot. Looking forward to it!” This was Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s tweet commenting on Fico’s victory in the Slovak parliamentary elections.