A populist party in Slovakia that opposes providing military assistance to Ukraine has won the country’s elections, a vote that could significantly change the NATO member’s foreign policy and support for the proxy war.
Former Prime Minister Robert Fico, who leads the Slovak Social Democracy party, known as Smer-SD, campaigned on ending military aid to Ukraine. Fico doubled down on his position after winning the vote, saying, “people in Slovakia have bigger problems than Ukraine.”
Smer-SD won 29.9% of the vote and 42 seats out of the nation’s 150-seat parliament. Since the party did not win a majority of seats in parliament, it needs to form a coalition government. Fico said he was ready to form a government once given the mandate by the president.
Fico’s expected partners are the leftist Hlas party, which is a spin-off of Smer-SD and gained 14.7% of the vote, and the nationalist Slovak National Party, which received 5.6% of the vote. If the three parties join forces, they will have 79 seats in parliament.
EU officials fear that if Fico successfully forms a government, Slovakia will join Hungary in opposing EU sanctions on Russia and military support for Ukraine. The Progressive Slovakia party, which is aligned with EU policies, came in second place, taking 18% of the vote.