In this edition of the CHOICE newsletter, we discuss the outcome of the Slovak elections and what it means for the country's China policy and present our latest outputs.
On Saturday, pro-Russia leftist populist SMER-SD led by former PM Robert Fico secured victory,emerging in a lead over the liberal Western-oriented Progressive Slovakia (PS) in Slovakia’s snap parliamentary elections.
After SMER-SD was voted out in 2020, many assumed that Fico’s days in Slovak politics were numbered and that SMER-SD was was on the verge of its demise. However, due to the instability and incompetency of the governments that have been in power in the past three years, Fico harnessed public disillusionment, embracing nationalist stances and skillfully transforming himself into an anti-establishment figure.
SMER-SD’s campaign rode on a wave of anti-Ukraine and anti-immigration sentiment. Fico’s promise to cease weapon deliveries to Ukraine set off widespread concerns across the continent, stoking fears of a potential ascent of a new Orbán-like leader in Bratislava.
See the entire newsletter below: