Status: 01.10.2023, 00:04 a.m.
Michal Simecka, leader of the Progressive Slovakia (PS) party, speaks to reporters. The PS has probably surprisingly won the parliamentary elections in Slovakia. © Petr David Josek/AP/dpa
The left-wing nationalist opposition party "Direction - Slovak Social Democracy" (Smer-SSD) was ahead in the polls. Now there seems to have been a surprise in the parliamentary elections in Slovakia.
Bratislava - The liberal party "Progressive Slovakia" (PS), which has not even been represented in parliament so far, is likely to have surprisingly won the parliamentary elections in Slovakia, according to a forecast.
The Liberals, led by MEP Michal Simecka, came to 23.5 percent after this unofficial result, published by the private television channel TV Markiza on Saturday evening. The left-wing nationalist opposition party "Direction - Slovak Social Democracy" (Smer-SSD) of former long-term head of government Robert Fico, which led the polls for months, came in second with 21.9 percent.
The more liberal Social Democrats under ex-Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, who split off from the Fico party, are now likely to tip the scales. This party, called "Voice - Social Democracy" (Hlas-SD), could, together with small bourgeois parties, help the PS to achieve a comfortable majority - or prevent it. In the latter case, however, a stalemate would threaten because Smer would find it difficult to find the other coalition partners he needs besides Hlas.
Election ended late
Around 4.4 million citizens were called upon to elect a new parliament. The EU and NATO country Slovakia borders directly on Ukraine and has so far been one of the most determined political and military supporters of the neighboring country attacked by Russia. Fico had announced, however, that he would end the arms aid, which is unpopular with the population, if he returned to power.
TV Markiza had surprisingly published the forecast before the official close of voting, but without first specifying the party names. According to the law, it is forbidden to publish election results until the last polling station has closed.
The election, which began on Saturday morning, ended late in the evening. Instead of 22 p.m. as planned, the last polling stations closed three quarters of an hour later. The reason for this was problems in individual polling stations where members of the electoral commission had health problems. According to the law, interruptions in voting must be compensated for by a corresponding extension of the election period. Dpa