Tension among Slovak parties is running high in the run-up to the September 2023 elections. According to Focus agency for TV Markiza, had a general election taken place in February, it would have been won by the extra-parliamentary Voice-SD and its leader Peter Pellegrini with 20.8 percent of the votes, ahead of the opposition Smer-SD party, led by Robert Fico (14.6 percent) and Progressive Slovakia (11 percent). The far-right Republika would gain 8.5 percent, followed by We Are Family (7.7), the Christian Democrats (6.9), OĽaNO led by Igor Matovič (6.4), and Freedom and Solidarity (5.3). While Pellegrini is considered as the most trusted political leader in the country, enjoying the confidence of 42 percent of the respondents, Matovič is the most distrusted one (8 percent). According to the survey, the second most trusted politician is President Zuzana Čaputová (39 percent), followed by Fico (33 percent).
Parliamentary Chair Boris Kollár comes fourth (27 percent), then MEP Milan Uhrík (26 percent), Slovak National Party (SNS) leader Andrej Danko (24 percent), the Christian Democrats’ head Milan Majerský (20 percent), and current interim PM Eduard Heger (19 percent). The citizen’s trust in Slovak parties and in their political leaders is not at all high. Unrealizable and costly promises fuel many citizens’ distrust with the political class. There is indeed no shortage of miraculous electoral promises and distribution of windfall money from all sides of the political spectrum. Matovič proposed a bonus of 500 Euros to people who vote; he referred to a “Swiss model”. However, there is not any such rewards in Switzerland. As Slovaks suffered expenses because of the war in Ukraine, Matovič stated that his proposal will be covered by the in place special refinery tax.
The Slovak parties and their leaders do not seem to be concerned about the cost of their promises. Hlas-SD will go into the general election alone, Pellegrini said. While confirming his commitments at the EU- and NATO-level, he also cannot imagine sitting in the government with Fico. The war in Ukraine is an issue that stirs the spirits and attracts the attention of Slovak parties and citizens. Fico would not welcome Slovakia’s direct intervention in the conflict. 40.000 men declared to the Defence Ministry they would refuse to fight in the war in Ukraine if Slovakia entered the conflict. The Ministry believes disinformation and some opposition parties have influenced many citizens while submitting their opinion. The National Crime Agency has launched an investigation over suspicions of attempts to spread false alarm in connection with publicly disseminated information about a planned mobilisation in Slovakia.
(Published on amedeogasparini.com)