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Slovakia faces a choice of direction  Pulse 24

Slovakia faces a choice of direction Pulse 24

A new parliament for the next four-year term will be elected in Slovakia on Saturday. A head-to-head race is expected between the Social Democratic Party, led by populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, 59, and a long-time friend of Russia, and the young, liberal-leaning Progressive Party of Slovakia, led by an EU parliamentarian. President Michal Simica (39). . Observers are talking about the choice of direction in Slovakia.

Fico, who resigned five and a half years ago as a result of widespread demonstrations following the killing of a journalist, may be about to return and shift the EU and NATO member state away from its previously strictly pro-European policies. Pro-Ukrainian course. On the other hand, the progressives led by Simica support Slovakia’s pro-Western democratic orientation. According to most opinion polls, Fico has a slight lead, but some polling agencies already see Simica with a slight lead.

The now largely divided parties in the previous populist conservative governments of Igor Matovic and Eduard Heger, who have been in power since 2020, must fear for their political future. Their recent poll numbers have been just below the five per cent threshold for entering parliament. Instead of restoring democracy and fighting corruption, which is what Slovaks wanted after the killing of journalists in 2018, they brought chaos to the country. The alliance eventually collapsed due to internal disputes. Since then, Slovakia has been governed by a council of experts appointed by President Zuzana Caputova and headed by economist Ludovit Udor.

The nearly 6,000 polling stations are open to about 4.4 million voters from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. A total of 25 political parties are competing for the 150 seats in the Slovak National Assembly, but only eight to nine groups have a chance of success. A related preliminary result is expected on Sunday evening.

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