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Slovak politicians respond to Czech elections

SEVERAL Slovak politicians have responded to the results of Czech parliamentary elections that took place on October 25 and 26.

SEVERAL Slovak politicians have responded to the results of Czech parliamentary elections that took place on October 25 and 26.

Pavol Frešo, chair of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), said that the defeat of the standard parties and the emergence of new “indecipherable” parties serve as a warning for Slovakia. He said that Slovakia experienced a similar situation in 2012, as reported by the TASR newswire.

Frešo also said that the general elections are increasingly dominated by massive marketing campaigns by political entities that lack legible political programmes, and such parties only bring uncertainty and instability to politics, according to TASR.

“Although no chairman of a stable political party can be happy about the results of the Czech general election, I want to congratulate all the parties that have made it into parliament, and express my hope that they will succeed in creating a stable government,” Frešo said, as quoted by TASR.

Frešo’s party colleague Lucia Žitňanská responded to the election results that the success of the new parties is “a message for the so-called standard parties that they had made a mistake somewhere”, as reported by the SITA newswire. She also pointed to the weak voter turnout, which was less than 60 percent.

Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák congratulated Czech Social Democrats on their victory. Yet, he said that it is possible the government in the Czech Republic will not be stable, SITA wrote.

Ján Figeľ, chair of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), assumes that post-election developments in the Czech Republic will be complicated, as was the case after the first direct presidential election in early 2013. Yet, he does not assume it will weaken relations between Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

He also congratulated Pavel Bělohrádek, leader of Czech Christian Democrats from KDÚ-ČSL, for returning to parliament, saying that “no party had managed such a comeback in the Czech Republic since 1990”, as reported by TASR.

Figeľ also greeted Karel Schwarzenberg’s TOP 09, with which KDH cooperates in European structures.

The early election in the Czech Republic was won by the Social Democrats (ČSSD) with 20.45 percent, ahead of the ANO 2011 party of businessman Andrej Babiš, which garnered the support of 18.65 percent of voters, and the communists (KSČM) with 14.91 percent. TOP 09 garnered the best result among rightist parties: 11.99 percent. The traditionally leading rightist ODS party received only 7.72 percent, ahead of Tomio Okamura’s Dawn of Direct Democracy with 6.88 percent, and KDÚ-ČSL with 6.78 percent.

Also, 491 Czechs cast their votes at the Czech Embassy to Bratislava on October 25 and 26. While a total of 331 Czech citizens voted using a voter certificate during their stay in Bratislava, the remaining 160 people consisted of Czechs living in Slovakia, head of the local electoral commission Tomáš Jadlovský told TASR.

There are currently 460 Czechs living in Slovakia.

Most Czechs who cast their vote in Bratislava voted for Karl Schwarzenberg and his TOP 09 party. Second place was ODS, followed by ANO 2011, and KDÚ-ČSL. The Social Democrats, who actually won the elections, placed fifth in Slovakia, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR, SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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