A leftist opposition led by one of the few leading politicians in Slovakia to escape voter anger over a major corruption scandal has been propelled back to power in an early parliamentary election, according to almost complete results on Sunday. Smer-Social Democracy of former Prime Minister Robert Fico is a clear winner with 44.8 percent of the vote, or 84 seats in the 150-seat Parliament, with the votes from 5,842 of the 5,956 polling stations counted by the Statistics Office early Sunday. The result allows Fico to govern alone, which has not happened to anyone since the country was created as an independent state following the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993.
Fico, who is considered a populist leader, is pledging to maintain a welfare state, increase corporate tax and hike income tax for the highest earners. “We succeeded with what we offered as an alternative,” Fico said early Sunday. “We’ve achieved a result that is a pleasant surprise for us, to be honest.”
The outgoing center-right, four-party coalition combines for just 50 seats as it faced voter anger over a major corruption scandal.
The new Ordinary People party that campaigned on an anti-corruption ticket won 16 seats. The ultranationalist Slovak National Party, known for derogatory comments about ethnic Hungarians, Roma and political opponents, ended below the 5-percent threshold needed to win parliamentary representation.
Turnout was surprisingly high at 58.98 percent after analysts predicted a record low turnout, as voters were expected to register their anger over allegations that a private financial group bribed government and opposition politicians in 2005-06 to win lucrative privatization deals.
Full Article: Leftist opposition wins big in Slovakia election.