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Slovakia: Bugar rules out post-election cooperation with ruling Smer party

Bratislava, Slovakia – Bela Bugar, chairman of Most-Hid, said on Thursday his party won’t cooperate with the ruling Smer party, its current coalition partner, following the February 29 elections, the TASR news agency reported.

The head of Most-Hid, a well-known figure in Slovak politics, held a press conference this week to present a so-called “agreement with citizens”.

Bela Bugar, long-time chairman of the main party of the country’s Hungarian minority, pledged not to enter any government coalition with former Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Smer-SD, its current coalition partner.

Less surprisingly, Bugar also promised not to cooperate in any way with the far-right ‘People’s Party our Slovakia’ (LSNS) of Marian Kotleba, currently polling in second place in the latest opinion surveys. Critics fear that Smer, although having pledged not to work with Kotleba following the February 29 ballot, might try to retain its nearly 15-year-long grip on power with the implicit support of the neo-Nazi LSNS.

Voters might however remain unfazed by Bugar’s pledge, known for his frequent political U-turns and unkept promises, and see this last-minute vow as nothing more than a panicked move to leave an apparently sinking ship. Although vowing a few years ago never to enter a government coalition with the conservative Slovak National Party (SNS), for instance, Most-Hid backtracked on its promise and eventually entered the government alongside SNS and Smer-SD.

And with Most-Hid currently polling around the 5% threshold needed to enter Parliament, we might never get to check whether or not he could keep his promise this time…

To understand who’s who in next week’s crucial elections, you can check out our dedicated series about the parties running for reelection next Saturday, and the extra-parliamentary movements seeking to break the status-quo.

Main photo credit: Sme/Gabriel Kuchta

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