LESS than 13 percent of Slovak voters cast their vote in the elections to the European Parliament (EP), according to unofficial results, remaining true to the country’s reputation of posting low turnouts since joining the EU in 2004.

The ruling Smer party received the highest number of votes in the May 24 election to the EP but Prime Minister Robert Fico’s party has likely failed to defend its five mandates, according to unofficial estimates published by Sme.sk.

Smer with its 24.09 percent, will probably take four seats of Slovakia’s 13 seats in the European Parliament. EU commissioner Maroš Šefčovič, Monika Flašíková Beňová, Boris Zala and Vladimír Maňka will head to the EP.

The Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) harvested 13.21 percent of the votes, thus sending two deputies, Anna Záborská and Miroslav Mikolášik, to the EP, according to Sme.

The Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) got 7.75 percent of the vote and is likely to have two mandates in the EP as well and thus Ivan Štefanec and Eduard Kukan will join the EP.

Other parties will have one mandate each, the estimates suggest. The Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) received 7.46 percent and should send Branislav Škripek to the EP. NOVA collected 6.83 percent and its one mandate should go to Jana Žitňanská. Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) picked 6.66 percent of the vote and Richard Sulík should take the mandate. The non-parliamentary Party of the Hungarian Community (SMK) got 6.53 percent and might send Pál Csáky to Brussels and Most-Híd collected 5.83 percent of the vote while its mandate will go to József Nagy, unofficial results published by Sme.sk suggest.

The results of the elections should be published on May 25 at 23:00, after all the polling stations around the EU close.

Centrist and right-wing parties grouped in the European People’s Party won the elections to the EP as suggested by the unofficial results, said political scientist and president of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) Grigorij Mesežnikov as quoted by SITA newswire.

The elections did not turn out for the Socialists the best in Slovakia as Smer has failed to defend its results from five years ago, said Mesežnikov.

“Stagnation of Smer can be observed, evidently Smer is no longer strengthening,” Mesežnikov said adding that the fragmentation of the centre-to-right parties has been confirmed as well.

Nevertheless, Mesežnikov also noted that the turnout just at around 13 percent deforms the measuring of sympathies of the voters towards particular parties. He attributes the low turnout to critical comments by some candidates about the European Union adding that it is harder to motivate people to go to the polling stations if critical voices prevail, SITA reported.

Political scientist Martin Klus agrees with Mesežnikov that the results does not reflect the real strength of political parties.

“The cliché that Smer has disciplined voters has been broken,” Klus said as quoted by Sme.