Pro-Russia politician wins election in Slovakia

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A party headed by pro-Kremlin leader has emerged as the winner in an election in Slovakia with votes more than expected. This will likely pose a challenge to NATO and EU unity on Ukraine.

As per the preliminary results released by Slovakia’s Statistical Office at 6 am local time, Robert Fico’s populist SMER party won 23.3% of the vote. Meanwhile, Progressive Slovakia (PS), a liberal and pro-Ukraine party bagged 17% votes.

Fico, a two-time former prime minister, now has a chance to regain his job but he must first form a coalition with another party as his party has not won with a major margin. Led by a former SMER member, the moderate-left party Hlas, which was formed due to the internal disputes of SMER, came third with 15% of the vote, and could play kingmaker.

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With seven political parties reaching the 5% threshold, which is required to enter the parliament, the coalition might be long and messy.

The leader of Hlas, Peter Pellegrini said that his party was “very pleased” with the election results. “The results so far show that Hlas will be a party without which it will be impossible to form any kind of … coalition government.”