Center-left wins landslide victory in Slovakia′s elections | News | DW | 11.03.2012
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Center-left wins landslide victory in Slovakia's elections

The center-left Smer-Social Democracy party has decisively won the parliamentary election in Slovakia. The party's landslide victory would allow it to govern alone.

Slovakia's center-left Smer-Social Democracy party on Sunday won a parliamentary majority in elections, with party leader Robert Fico pledging to support the European Union and a strong eurozone.

With more than 95 percent of polling stations reporting, Smer looked set to secure around 45 percent of the vote and 84 seats in the 150-member parliament, according to Slovakia's Statistics Office.

"The program will be pro-European... we want the eurozone preserved and the euro as a strong European currency," said Fico.

Fico's center-right rivals in the SDKU won just 5.9 percent of the vote, barely surpassing the 5 percent hurdle required for representation in parliament. The SDKU saw its 15 percent support from the 2010 elections drop steeply amid graft allegations involving party chairman and outgoing foreign minister Mikulas Dzurinda.

Eurozone election

The early elections came as a consequence of outgoing prime minister Iveta Radicova's decision in October 2011 to tie the passage of Europe's temporary bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), to a vote of confidence due to the opposition of her coalition partners in the SaS party. The SDKU's Radicova lost the confidence vote, although the EFSF was approved by the Slovak parliament.

The center-right Christian Democrats (KDH) and the newly-formed Common People party tied for second place with 16 seats in parliament each. The ethnic Hungarian Most-Hid party is set to get 14 seats while the liberal right-wing SaS won 10 seats.

Fico said he would seek the support of the other parties in parliament.

"The result is a very nice surprise; the number of parliament seats shows Smer has succeeded with its program," Fico said.

"Smer can now fully implement its program of a welfare state, of improving the condition of public finances, not at the cost of low-income groups," he said.

slk/tj (AP, AFP, Reuters)