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SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Pokakať sa

“THOSE 17 or 18 percent are not gonna make me poop (pokakať sa),” Radoslav Procházka said a few days ago about the recent poll numbers for his Sieť party. Good thing he kept his digestion under check, as newer surveys show support for the self-appointed rancher of the opposition may now be down to as little as 10 percent. Even that figure makes Sieť the strongest right-wing party, but still, the explosion of support may well have stopped, if not reversed.

“THOSE 17 or 18 percent are not gonna make me poop (pokakať sa),” Radoslav Procházka said a few days ago about the recent poll numbers for his Sieť party. Good thing he kept his digestion under check, as newer surveys show support for the self-appointed rancher of the opposition may now be down to as little as 10 percent. Even that figure makes Sieť the strongest right-wing party, but still, the explosion of support may well have stopped, if not reversed.

This could make life difficult for Procházka in one key way - to have a party, you need members. And with the popularity gone, achieving that can be tough. The party boss is not known for his team spirit (it’s rumoured he even designed the party logo himself), nor is it easy to ignore the growing doubts about the financing of his presidential campaign. But as long as it seemed Procházka was on a path to the prime minister’s office, even critical minds were willing to turn a blind eye.

Defeating Smer and uniting the fragmented opposition parties (the bonsai, as Procházka likes to call them) seemed more important than the fact that the boss is somewhat out of control. Now, potential candidates, volunteers, and apparatchiks may have to think a little harder about whether this is a project they want to join, even if it is not destined for success. The November municipal vote will test not only Sieť’s ability to win elections, but whether it can even produce enough serious contenders.

Procházka is not the first to bring pooping into politics. Three and a half years ago it was word of the week thanks to his current archenemy Igor Matovič, whose lack of loyalty and talent for aggressive media stunts made him one of the more troublesome members of the right-wing coalition, which collapsed after just a year and a half. His destructive, anti-system strategy worked, and in the 2012 elections he tied for second place with the Christian Democrats and has since remained one of the more visible opposition figures.

For months it seemed Procházka could give voters a more cultivated and constructive alternative. But watching his recent deeds and his language, you start to wonder if this is the case.

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