Social conservative wins Slovak elections


Central Europe


Smer-SSD party leader and Slovakia's former Primer Minister Robert Fico (2nd L) celebrates his victory in the general elections alongside party members at the party's headquarters in Bratislava. Photo AFP, Tomas Benedikovic

Former prime minister Robert Fico's populist Social Democrats defeated progressive liberals in parliamentary elections on Sunday. However, Slovakia need not count on a revaluation of family values.

In advance, the outcome of the election would be "bad or very bad" for conservatives, wrote Germany's Catholic daily Die Tagespost. "Either the corruption-prone Social Democrats win, or the progressives painted in rainbow colours", referring to the pro-Western, LGBT-friendly Progressive Slovakia party.

Under great interest from the international press, it turned out to be the former. The elections in Slovakia are being watched with concern from Europe because Fico and his party want to steer a different course from the current pro-Western government. He promised to stop the military support Slovakia provides to neighbouring Ukraine and argued that not the Russians but the Ukrainians started the war.

Prime Minister Victor Orbán of Hungary, also a critic of Western military support for Ukraine, was one of the first to congratulate Mr. Fico. "Guess who's back!" Orbán said on Twitter. "Always good to work together with a patriot. Looking forward to it!" the Hungarian leader added.


But despite his family-friendly comrade to the South, Mr. Fico is not known for his family policies. Despite him being classified as a social conservative, the Slovak conservative news outlet Standard put it at the bottom of the list of family-friendly conservative parties. While the party rejects "the rewriting of history and the violent pushing of liberal and progressive ideology into the school curriculum", the Standard argues that it prepared the weakest program in relation to traditional conservative topics. "It only promised to prepare a pro-family program without presenting any practical solutions," and wrote that it will present a realistic National Birth Program for reversing the alarming negative demographic development."

The party that Standard most highly classifies as family-friendly, the Christian Democrats, rose by about 2 per cent to about 7 per cent of the vote. That's 12 out of 150 seats.

Since none of the parties won an absolute majority, a coalition will have to be formed. Fico's party is expected to want to form a coalition across the right, possibly with far-right parties.



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