Pellegrini loses steam as polls point to Fico comeback

It seems the much-feared return of Smer is under way.

Peter Pellegrini and Robert Fico shake hands in parliament. Peter Pellegrini and Robert Fico shake hands in parliament. (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

Welcome to your weekly commentary and overview of news from Slovakia. Opinion polls suggest Fico’s party is now stronger than Pellegrini’s. As you read this, some Slovak MiGs are already in Ukraine, with more to follow. A Slovak candidate’s Brussels grilling doesn’t go well.

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Pellegrini is no longer the favourite

By the latest count, it seems that no fewer than five former prime ministers will vie for the support of voters in September’s general election.

Eduard Heger, who is currently Slovakia’s acting prime minister – with reduced powers after his original government lost a confidence vote in December – will lead his new project, Demokrati, into the election. The rebranded party has already crossed the 5-percent electability threshold in only the second political opinion poll since its launch earlier this month.

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Igor Matovič, whose brief but sadly memorable term as premier preceded that of Heger, is already gearing up for yet another innovative political campaign. He will need to: his OĽaNO party appears to be headed in the opposite direction to Heger’s, declining to just above the electability threshold in an AKO polling agency survey in March – and just below 5 percent in the Focus poll. In 2020 OĽaNO attracted more than 25 percent of the vote.

Mikuláš Dzurinda, now out in the cold, is reportedly still nursing ambitions to launch an entirely new centre-right party that will integrate some remaining players on the scene – and perhaps join one of the stronger subjects, like the Christian Democrats or even Heger and his Demokrati.

And then there are the two men who are viewed as their antagonists, although one much more than the other.

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