ROBERT Fico, leader of the non-parliamentary Smer party, wrapped up his campaign ahead of weekend elections by saying he saw Slovakia's main business opportunities lying to the east, in Russia and China, even if Slovakia became a member of Nato and the European Union.
Calling again for a 'strong hand and a strong government' in Slovakia, Fico continued his campaign line verging on defiance against the West.
During a September 17 rally in central Slovakia's Banská Bystrica, Fico accused the West of hypocrisy in its policy towards China, and said that "at the time when buffalo and Indians covered the American continent, we already had a university here in Slovakia."
Fico, a leftist politician with strong populist and authoritarian undertones, is given a major chance of being in government after the September 20-21 vote, and has said he wants to be prime minister.
23. Sep 2002 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA