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Slovakia to hold regional elections


Slovakia to hold regional elections

Photo: AP/Petr David Josek

Slovakia will hold regional and local elections today.

These elections are the first under the new government elected in 2020 whereby the right-wing, populist and anti-corruption OLANO  party defeated the left-wing, populist and pro-Russian SMER-SD grouping and formed a coalition with right-of-center parties. Key topics of the election were the handling of Ukrainian refugees and Slovakia’s response to the European energy crisis.

Current national opinion polls show the newly formed, center-left Voice party ahead with currently governing OLANO losing significant support. Though national trends may not be reflected in today´s elections, losses in different regions and local government areas could indicate the incumbent government´s level of support.

Pro-Russian parties, such as the formerly governing SMER, could also make modest gains across the country but are unlikely to take control of significant posts such as the mayorship of Slovakia`s capital city Bratislava. Ultimately, Slovakia is unlikely to alter its stance in supporting Ukraine because of today´s elections. Should OLANO fair poorly, more government measures to tackle high energy and gas prices can be expected. This could lead to a greater focus on domestic issues and indirectly lead to Slovakia being less active in providing support to Ukraine.

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