Former PM Robert Fico Opposed To Ukraine Support Wins Slovak Elections

Former PM Robert Fico Opposed To Ukraine Aid Wins Slovak Elections

Individuals in Slovakia have greater issues than (coping with) Ukraine, Robert Fico stated (File)


A Slovak populist occasion that wishes to cease army support to Ukraine and is essential of the EU and NATO can be tasked with forming a brand new authorities after successful elections.

The Smer-SD occasion led by former prime minister Robert Fico scored 23 % in Saturday’s vote, beating the centrist Progressive Slovakia at 18 %.

“Slovakia and the folks in Slovakia have greater issues than (coping with) Ukraine,” Fico informed reporters on Sunday.

He added Ukraine was “an enormous tragedy for all” and referred to as for peace talks as “additional killing won’t assist anybody”.

Throughout the marketing campaign, the 59-year-old vowed that Slovakia wouldn’t ship “a single spherical of ammunition” to Ukraine and referred to as for higher ties with Russia.

President Zuzana Caputova, a former member of Progressive Slovakia and a longtime political rival of Fico, stated she would job him with forming a brand new authorities.

“Within the spirit of our constitutional custom, tomorrow I’ll entrust the formation of the federal government to the winner of the election,” she stated in an announcement.

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

However Fico, a leftist former lawyer, stated Sunday that Slovakia’s international coverage focus wouldn’t change as “we’re naturally EU members”.

“That after all does not imply I can not criticise issues within the EU that I do not like.”

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

“In Robert Fico, Orban will get a brand new ally,” analyst Tomas Koziak from the Czech College of Political Sciences informed AFP.

Orban himself congratulated Fico on X, previously Twitter, “on his undisputable victory on the Slovak parliamentary elections”.

“All the time good to work along with a patriot. Trying ahead to it!” Orban wrote.

‘Individuals are fed up’

Many peculiar Slovaks are much less involved about international coverage and hope the brand new authorities will concentrate on the economic system and squabble lower than the final one.

Promoting bread rolls in a Bratislava bakery, Jana Urbanova informed AFP she anticipated the federal government to deal with “insufferable” inflation.

“Fico is skilled, he’s an expert, is not he? I didn’t vote for him however I do not suppose it issues that he gained,” she stated.

Tomas Hrivnak, 23, stated he had voted for Progressive Slovakia and was “disenchanted” however added that the outcome was “not the top of the world”.

“I feel individuals are fed up with the previous authorities of centrist and right-wing politicians, their quarrels and lack of ability to run this nation correctly,” he stated.

However one other Progressive Slovakia voter, Eva Lichnerova, voiced concern.

“The largest risk that I see is the diversion from the European Union, the shift in direction of Russia, the suppression of journalists’ rights and freedoms,” she stated.

Ukraine support

Smer has gained 42 seats within the 150-member parliament and desires coalition companions for a majority.

Hlas-SD, which emerged in 2020 as a breakaway occasion from Smer, is a possible accomplice with 27 seats.

Its chairman Peter Pellegrini grew to become premier in 2018 after Fico’s resignation amid nationwide protests following the homicide of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova.

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

The 2 events may group up with the nationalist Slovak Nationwide Occasion (SNS), which gained 10 seats, for a parliamentary majority of 79 seats.

Fico has already dominated twice with the SNS, which can be against army support for Ukraine.

Slovakia is one in every of Europe’s largest donors to Ukraine, relative to the dimensions of its economic system.

Surge in disinformation

Slovakia’s subsequent parliament may also embody the centrist OLaNO occasion of maverick former premier Igor Matovic, who obtained concerned in a fistfight with a Smer member in the course of the heated marketing campaign.

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

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

Slovakia emerged as an impartial nation in 1993, following a peaceable cut up with the Czech Republic after Czechoslovakia shed 4 a long time of totalitarian communist rule in 1989.

Though many Slovaks have expertise with the Moscow-steered communist regime, analysts say many are susceptible to pro-Kremlin disinformation.

Fico’s election marketing campaign additionally featured rhetoric towards the LGBTQ+ neighborhood and migrants, inflicting concern amongst non-governmental organisations.

(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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