Slovak president sues pro-Russian Smer party leader for defamation

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová filed a lawsuit against the leader of the Smer-SD party and former Prime Minister Robert Fico. She accused him of defamation and false accusations against her.

Čaputová claims Fico is spreading “outright lies and fabricated accusations” against her. Although the president’s office involves increased criticism, “she is not obliged to tolerate the escalation of public harassment and unfounded accusations of violating the Constitution, laws or serving another government”, the statement says.

“Robert Fico, by repeatedly spreading gross falsehoods, is violating her personal rights in a manner and with such intensity that her only truly effective remedy is to file a lawsuit,” Čaputová’s office said in a statement.

She also fears Fico’s allegations could lead to physical violence, and Čaputová herself has received numerous death threats.

The Slovakian president did not specify the accusations she was referring to. But earlier, the leader of Smer-SD had repeatedly called her an “American agent” who appoints the “Soros government”, referring to American philanthropist of Hungarian origin George Soros.

Read also: Slovakia 2023 Election: combatting disinformation under DSA

Slovakia will hold early parliamentary elections on 30 September. Former Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party currently has the highest chance of winning. But still, it will be tricky for him to form a coalition.

During the election campaign, the politician promised to defend national interests, stop military support for Ukraine, and oppose any sanctions against Russia that could harm Slovakia.

The current Slovakian President, Zuzana Čaputová, has pro-European views and supports increased assistance to Ukraine to protect it from a full-scale Russian invasion. She announced she would not run for a second presidential term, citing personal reasons.

Read also: Pro-Russian party has high chance of winning Slovakia election, but 30% of voters still undecided

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