The legislative elections organized this Sunday (1) in Slovakia resulted in the victory of the Social Democratic Party (Smer, by its acronym in the local language), which means the reappointment of its leader, Robert Fico, to the post of Prime Minister .
With 99.98% of the votes counted, Smer was declared the winner of the poll, obtaining 22.94% of the seats in parliament. The Progressive Slovakia party (which in practice defends a social-liberal discourse) came in second place with 17.96% of the vote.
This will be Fico’s third non-consecutive term in the country. His first term took place between July 2006 and July 2010. The social democrat’s second term took place between April 2012 and March 2018.
Fico’s campaign in this year’s elections was based on a promise to completely block arms shipments to Ukraine. Other political sectors have tried to oppose this position, recalling the proximity between the social democratic politician and Russian President Vladimir Putin – who maintained excellent relations during Fico’s first two terms – but these criticisms did not prevent his victory.
Slovakia has a land border with Ukrainian territory, which has been used by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to transfer weapons to the allied country. In a future Fico government, if he keeps his promise, this flow will be interrupted.
The Prime Minister-elect’s speech is also often very critical of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In the home stretch of the campaign, Fico even commented on the recent controversy over tribute to a Ukrainian ultranationalist soldier – Yaroslav Hunka, 98, who was a member of the Galician Division, which worked with the SS, the paramilitary army of the German Nazi Party – held by the Parliament of Canada. The ceremony was attended and applauded by the Ukrainian leader as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Fico’s review alluded to Zelensky’s Jewish background, stating that he was “applauding a guy who, if he had met his grandfather during the Nazi period, would not have hesitated to kill him.”
In other notable moments of the campaign, the social democrat declared himself against the use of Slovak military bases by American or NATO troops, accused “Ukrainian Nazi-fascist groups” of triggering the war against Russia and described the conflict in the neighboring country. as “an unnecessary massacre, which depletes countries’ military reserves and forces them to buy more weapons from the United States.”
The Slovak leader also expressed his interest in getting closer to another important figure from the South: China’s Xi Jinping.
One of the main jargons used by Fico during the campaign is that “war always comes from the West and peace from the East”, implying that this is where his government intends to look for new allies.
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