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ELECTIONS 2012: Fico says he expects to be asked to form next government

Shortly after polling stations closed on March 10 and exit poll results indicated that the Smer party would emerge as by far the biggest party, its leader Robert Fico said that he expected his party to be charged by President Ivan Gašparovič with forming the next government. One exit poll suggested that Smer would get half of the mandates – i.e. 75 of the 150 seats in parliament – while the other forecast that Fico’s party would get 69 seats.

Robert Fico, the winner of parliamentary elections in Slovakia.(Source: SITA)

Shortly after polling stations closed on March 10 and exit poll results indicated that the Smer party would emerge as by far the biggest party, its leader Robert Fico said that he expected his party to be charged by President Ivan Gašparovič with forming the next government. One exit poll suggested that Smer would get half of the mandates – i.e. 75 of the 150 seats in parliament – while the other forecast that Fico’s party would get 69 seats.

After polling stations closed at 22:00 across Slovakia, ending the country’s general
election on March 10, public-service broadcaster Radio and Television of Slovakia
(RTVS) and private broadcaster TV Markíza both released exit polls, conducted in
cooperation with the Focus and MVK agencies respectively.

As Smer party attracted by far the largest single block of support, based on the responses of voters as they left polling stations. Smer received 39.6 percent in Focus exit poll and 37.3 in the MVK exit poll.

In a distant second place was the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), with 9.9
percent in the Focus poll and 10.8 percent in the MVK poll. This would mean 19 or
20 seats in the next parliament.

“We will invite to a round table all the parties which [won] over five percent and it will become apparent who is willing to cooperate,” Fico said, as quoted by TASR, adding that the decisive thing would be whether the parties could find some common policy points.

However, Fico said he could not rule out another multi-party centre-right coalition emerging and thereby excluding Smer from government, as happened after the last election.

Applause filled the headquarters of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) after the results of an exit poll appeared during a broadcast of TV Markíza, the TASR newswire reported. According to the preliminary results, the party should get about 10.8 percent, translating into about 20 MPs in the next parliament.

“The political shifts say that there is a certain balance of the spectrum of left-wing and right-wing,” said party chairman Ján Figeľ, as quoted by TASR, adding that while the left-wing is represented by only one party and the right-wing is more various, the KDH can “play a significant role, and it is a challenge to responsibility”.

Slovak Christian and Democratic Union (SDKÚ) leader Mikuláš Dzurinda, in response to exit poll results which gave his party 7.5 percent and 8.1 percent, said that he could not disguise the fact that its support had fallen since 2010, when it recorded more than 15 percent.

He admitted that, along with the collapse of the government of Iveta Radicova, it could have been the Gorilla case that negatively influenced the results of his party.

“The chairman carries responsibility for the result of the party,” he said, adding that he would decide about his chairmanship over the next couple of days.

Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) leader Igor Matovič told the TASR newswire that he would respect the choice of the voters, adding that everything depended on their trust.

According to an exit poll by the MVK polling agency, OĽaNO could get about 7.6 percent and 8.8 percent in the Focus poll. Matovič said that he was disappointed by the exit poll results of the other right-wing parties and that he had expected them to get more, TASR wrote.

The SDKÚ seems to be defying pre-election predictions of a departure from parliament, receiving 8.1 percent in the Focus poll and 7.5 percent in the MVK poll. This would mean 15 or 14 seats in parliament.

Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) received 7.1 percent in the Focus poll but only 5.9
percent in the MVK poll. This would mean 13 or 11 seats in parliament.
Most-Híd received 6.5 percent in the Focus poll and 6.8 percent in the MVK poll.
This would mean 12 or 13 seats in parliament.

The Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) polled strongly in the MVK exit poll compared
to its sub-5-percent performances in most pre-election polls. The poll suggested it
would return to parliament, with 5.1 percent, or 13 seats in parliament.
Both exit polls suggested that the Slovak National party (SNS) and 99 Percent – Civic
Voice would not clear the 5 percent needed to win seats in parliament.

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