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IT’S time to suffer. Not only because Easter with its traditional whipping (šibačka) has arrived, but also because the presidential elections are over. Before the vote, Smer had to play nice, but now they can again show their real and perceived enemies that they are in charge.

IT’S time to suffer. Not only because Easter with its traditional whipping (šibačka) has arrived, but also because the presidential elections are over. Before the vote, Smer had to play nice, but now they can again show their real and perceived enemies that they are in charge.

After years of politically-driven investigation, Hedviga Žáková (née Malinová) was recently charged for allegedly lying about being attacked by neo-Nazis in Nitra. The ruling party elected their candidates for Constitutional Court Judges, selecting mostly loyal lawyers with little experience in the field, instead of actual experts, who were also on offer. The highly controversial Štefan Harabin has announced his plan to run for re-election as chairman of the Supreme Court, and Smer will probably not stop him.

Smer lost the presidential election for three major reasons: they did not get enough of their supporters to vote, they failed to attract anyone outside of their traditional voter base and the prospect of Robert Fico’s victory mobilised enough of his opponents. If he does not want to suffer defeat again in 2016, he and his colleagues should do the opposite of what they’re doing now – move more into the centre and make sure they do not antagonise even more people.

Sadly, they seem to be giving up on sensible governance and are brutally pushing through their interests. If this trend continues, the next two years may hurt much more than Monday’s whipping.

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