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Slovaks to ditch scandal-hit centre-right, say polls

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Slovaks to ditch scandal-hit centre-right, say polls
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Slovakia’s centre-right coalition is heading for humiliation in Saturday’s general election, according to opinion polls.

The surveys suggest voters are set to punish their leaders from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKU) after a major corruption scandal in the mid-2000s.

The central European country also took centre stage when a junior coalition partner refused to back the strengthening of the eurozone rescue fund, a move which brought down the then government.

Crucially for Slovakia’s partners in the single currency, the party now the strong favourite to take power is a firm supporter of the euro and unlikely to rock the euro boat.

“I can confirm at this moment that SMER Social Democracy will also support permanent financial mechanisms to really support Europe. We believe in Europe and we believe in the European Union so it will be in any case a pro-European government,” said the party leader Robert Fico, a former prime minister.

The ruling coalition’s hopes have been further hit by the decision of the popular prime minister Iveta Radicova to quit politics once a new government is formed.

Instead the SDKU is led by the Foreign Minister Mikulas Dzurinda. He was prime minister at the time of the alleged corruption scandal, but denies that he and the party are guilty of wrongdoing.