Slovakia: party with golden share to start coalition talks with pro-Russian Fico

The Slovak party Voice (Hlas), which has a “golden share” in forming any government after the September election, has agreed to negotiate with the pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian winning party Smer-SD and the pro-Russian far-right SNS party.

As reported by Aktuality, members of the Hlas party board negotiated with each other for more than an hour about who to start coalition talks with.

“The board has unanimously decided that Hlas will conduct further negotiations on a government coalition with Smer and SNS,” announced its leader, former Prime Minister, Peter Pellegrini.

The problematic element of these talks is that SNS is an ultranationalist political party, far-right, while Hlas has been positioning itself as a centre-left and social-democratic party. In any other EU state, such an alliance would be surrealistic.

However, Pellegrini, former Fico’s ally in Smer-SD, expressed his expectation that Smer and SNS would confirm their negotiation readiness.

“The result of the talks should be a coalition agreement that will determine the distribution of ministerial portfolios and the priorities of the future coalition,” Pellegrini stated.

Aware of the pro-Russian and anti-European narratives of the Smer-SD party, first in the election, and potential bigger coalition partner, Pellegrini has tried to assure the supporters that Hlas will maintain pro-European policy.

“Hlas will guarantee that Slovakia’s membership of the EU and NATO will not be jeopardised in any way”, Pellegrini said.

Pellegrini refrained from commenting on what portfolios the Voice (Hlas) representatives might receive.

“The Slovak voters have determined that Smer is the clear winner, and the Voice is in third place,” Pellegrini said, commenting on the party decision.

Pellegrini agreed that “an alliance of liberals and conservatives would have meant conflicts“, and such a government would have been unstable, and the continuation of such a situation is not what Slovakia needs.

His comments also suggest that Pellegrini was not seeking the prime minister position in such a coalition format and did not put it forward as a condition for talks.

“If citizens wanted to see Peter Pellegrini as prime minister, they could vote so that the Voice would win the election. But they chose Smer as the winner,” he said.

The winning party leader, a pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian politician, former Prime Minister Robert Fico, was given two weeks to form a government on October 2.

If the talks fail, the second party, a liberal and pro-European Progressive Slovakia, could form a coalition with Hlas (Voice) and 2-3 smaller parties. This coalition would be stronger than the alliance of center-left and pro-Russian far-right.

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