The Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) party has emerged as the frontrunner in the parliamentary elections held in Slovakia on Saturday, according to official results from 95 percent of the districts. The party, led by former Prime Minister Robert Fico, is currently over 7 percentage points ahead of its liberal pro-Western rival, Progressive Slovakia.
In his campaign, Fico has made it abundantly clear that if his party wins, he will not blindly follow the US dictate. He has vowed to end military aid to Ukraine and publicly criticized the European Union’s sanctions on Russia as ineffective and harmful. At a rally last week, Fico declared, “We are a peaceful country,” and stated that his party would not send any ammunition to Ukraine.
Progressive Slovakia, a staunch supporter of EU policies, is currently the runner-up with just over 16 percent of the votes. While no single party is set to win a majority of seats, Fico’s ally, the HLAS (Voice) party, is polling third with over 15% of the votes. This potentially gives Fico enough seats to form a coalition government.
The prospect of a Fico-led government has raised concerns in the EU, particularly in Brussels. Officials fear that Fico could align with Hungary in challenging the EU consensus on supporting Ukraine. There are concerns that Fico might veto future military aid to Ukraine or vote against additional anti-Russia sanctions packages. Slovakia, as a NATO member, has provided Ukraine with armored personnel carriers, howitzers, and its entire fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets.
However, Fico has been vocal about his independence from US influence. Last week, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service claimed that Washington is willing to resort to blackmail and bribery to ensure the incumbent government wins the upcoming election in Slovakia, in order to prevent Fico’s ascendancy to power.
These developments highlight the growing tensions between different factions within Slovakia and their divergent viewpoints on international relations. Fico’s stance challenges the prevailing pro-Western and anti-Russia consensus in the EU and US. It also raises questions about Slovakia’s future role in NATO and its alignment with EU policies.
As the election results continue to unfold, it remains to be seen how Fico’s party will navigate these geopolitical challenges and whether they will be able to form a coalition government. The outcome of the elections will have implications not only for Slovakia but also for the wider region and its relationships with the EU, US, Ukraine, and Russia.
In conclusion, the SMER-SD party’s significant lead in the parliamentary elections, along with Fico’s anti-US stance, has sparked concerns in the EU and raised questions about Slovakia’s future alignment with Western policies. The election results will shape the country’s geopolitical trajectory and its relationships with key international players.