Former prime minister Robert Fico has led his centre-left social democratic SMER party to victory in elections in Slovakia.
With over 44 percent of the vote and 83 of the 150 seats in parliament, it will be the first time SMER has enough of a majority to rule alone since the split of Czechoslavakia in 1993.
“Our result is quite interesting, in that it allows us to fulfil everything we promised in the election campaign; that is to move in the direction of a welfare state and heal the public finances without affecting people’s wallets,” Fico said.
Damaged by a major corruption scandal, Mikulas Dzurinda’s party slumped to less than six percent causing him to say: “What can I tell you? It is a tough loss for the right-wing parties and for SDKU.”
Fico invited opposition parties to join his government as long as they support his agenda. So far, none has taken up the offer.
Centre-right parties of the former coalition administration continue to be embroiled in a scandal known as ‘Gorilla’, in which accusations of bribery have been levelled at the government led by Dzurinda from 1998 to 2006.
Fico’s SMER are one of the few parties not implicated.