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THE MOST surprising thing about the Slovak elections, are the numbers:

THE MOST surprising thing about the Slovak elections, are the numbers:

83 parliamentary seats for Smer is something unheard of. Never before has a single party managed to gain a majority and, given the unprecedented nature of the situation, no one can be certain just what Robert Fico will do. Himself included.

The 103,517 preferential votes for Lucia Žitňanská show just how tired SDKÚ voters are of chairman Mikuláš Dzurinda, who got just 27,000 “little circles”, trailing even Ivan Mikloš, who had more than twice as many. But the message comes too late for the former champion of the right – the SDKÚ barely made it into parliament and if it fails to find a credible agenda and a likeable leader, it may well face extinction.

1.58 percent for the 99 Percent party is good news. It shows that money alone can’t buy you seats in parliament. You at least need a popular face. And Igor Matovič has just that. His 16 MPs make him just as strong as the Christian Democrats. Not bad for a man with no tangible agenda other than self-presentation.

The SNS’s 116,420 votes were not enough to get it into parliament. The end of the nationalists is one of the best results of this election season. But one must not forget that they have managed to return before.

Making any predictions about Slovak politics has proven extremely tricky. But given the strong position of Fico in parliament and within his own party, one can be pretty sure about the number of years remaining until the next election night: it should not be less than four.

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