The frontrunner in Slovakia elections made it abundantly clear that he would not unquestioningly follow the US dictate if elected
The Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) party has taken a major lead in the parliamentary elections held on Saturday, with official results from most of the districts showing it over 7 percentage points ahead of its liberal pro-Western rival Progressive Slovakia.
The SMER-SD party is led by the former Prime Minister Robert Fico, who vowed to end military aid to Ukraine and publicly criticized the European Union’s sanctions on Russia as ineffective and harmful.
“We are a peaceful country,” Fico declared at a rally last week, adding if his party wins it “will not send a single round [of ammunition] to Ukraine.”
The Progressive Slovakia party, a staunch supporter of EU policies, is a runner up with just over 16 percent of the vote, with 95 percent of the ballots counted. It’s 39-year-old leader Michal Simecka, a Vice-President of the European Parliament, campaigned on promises to continue Slovakia’s support for Ukraine.
With no party set to win a majority of seats, Slovakia would need to form a coalition government.
The HLAS (Voice) party, is polling third with over 15 percent. It’s leader Peter Pellegrini called it a victory and has not ruled out a possible coalition with Fico.
The Slovak National Party also made it above the 5 percent threshold. It’s leader Andrej Danko expressed willingness to join a coalition to “compete with liberalism,” while comparing Simecka to a “hurt puddle.”
The prospect of a Fico-led government has set alarm bells ringing in the EU, where officials in Brussels fear he could join Hungary in challenging the EU consensus on supporting Ukraine, and veto future military aid or vote against additional anti-Russia sanctions packages.
NATO member Slovakia has supplied Kiev with armored personnel carriers, howitzers, and its entire fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets.
However, Fico has made it clear that it would not unquestioningly follow the US lead if elected. To prevent this from happening, Washington is willing to go to any lengths, including blackmail and bribery, to ensure the incumbent Slovak government wins, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service claimed last week.