Anti-refugee PM wins Slovakia election but loses majority

Anti-refugee Prime Minister Robert Fico wins his third term in Slovakia's election but his party loses majority in parliament forcing him to form coalition government with opposition

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A woman walks past election posters showing candidates of Smer party and Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico (R) and KDH party Jan Figel in Bratislava, Slovakia, March 4, 2016. The poster on the right reads: "We protect Slovakia."

Updated Mar 6, 2016

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico, a left-wing nationalist won the election on Saturday but his party lost majority in the parliament as smaller parties including far-right anti-refugee parties entered the Slovak parliament. 

The election results by Markiza TV showed that Fico's Smer-Social Democrats (Smer-SD) party gained 27.3 percent (45 seats) of the votes, meaning Fico lost his 83-seat majority in the 150-member parliament. 

He called the election a "big earthquake" in Slovak politics. According to analysts, Fico would have to work hard to form a coalition government with opposition parties.

Liberal Freedom and Solidarity party (SaS) gained 13.3 percent of the votes (22 seats) and conservative OLANO-NOVA took 11.2 percent (18 seats).

In total nine parties entered the parliament including the far-right anti-refugee Slovak National Party (SNS - 13 seats) with eight percent, according to the exit polls. 

 'Fascists in Slovak parliament' 

The far-right Slovak National Party (SNS) gained 13 seats with eight percent of the vote followed by the another far-right nationalist LS-Nase Slovensko (Our Slovakia) party led by Marian Kotleba.

The party entered the parliament for the first time in its history with 11 seats by taking 6.8 percent of the in the election.

"It will be a major disaster at the time when the Slovak Republic will preside over the European Union to have fascists in our parliament," Smer-SD MEP Monika Flasikova Benova said Saturday.

"Kotleba is a neo-Nazi... Fico used nationalist rhetoric regarding migrants and this strengthened the extreme right in Slovakia," political analyst Samuel Abraham said.

Fico's Down

Analysts say corruption scandals and protests by teachers and nurses against low pay cost Fico's party, being the main reasons behind losing its majority in the parliament.

As a member of the European Union, Slovakia will take over the bloc’s presidency for six months in July, giving the country a crucial role in the 28-nation bloc. Because of this the election was followed closely by Brussels.

Fico also known for his  anti-refugee stance -along with Hungary's Viktor Orban and Poland's Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Robert Fico who calls multi-culturalism “fiction” vowed to not accept EU quotas on distributing tens of thousands of refugees who are sheltered in Greece and Italy and come from war-torn countries such as Syria and Afghanistan.

Furthermore, Slovak opposition parties largely agree with Fico’s views that Muslims cannot “integrate” into predominantly Catholic countries and consider them a “security threat.”

Europe is facing its biggest refugee influx since World War Two.

More than one million refugees fled war-torn and poverty stricken countries in the Middle East and Africa and made dangerous voyages to cross into Europe, while nearly 4,000 people lost their lives in their attempt to flee.

Syrian refugees escaping the violence in their country fled Syria following the escalation of the Syrian civil war in 2012.

During the civil war, nearly 8 million people have been displaced internally while more than 5 million have fled the country to the neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.

TRTWorld and agencies