- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Robert Fico Announces Bid for Slovak Prime Minister Amidst Election Victory
Robert Fico, the leader of Slovakia’s Smer-Social Democracy party, has declared his intention to vie for the position of prime minister following his party’s victory in the recent snap election, securing nearly 23 percent of the vote. Fico’s resounding win has positioned him as a prominent figure in Slovak politics, and he wasted no time in outlining his priorities for the potential new government.
In his first statement after the election, Fico made it clear that he would not engage in negotiations until he received a formal mandate from Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová to form a new government, which was set to take place on the following Monday.
Fico, known for his charismatic style, began his press conference with humor, making light of his vocal cord condition, a testament to the celebration that followed his election victory. He then shifted to more serious matters, emphasizing his preference for a structured negotiation process within the new coalition government. He proposed that coalition members should first agree on the agenda before determining the distribution of responsibilities.
Potential coalition partners for Smer include Petr Pellegrini’s Voice-Social Democracy party and Andrej Danko’s Slovak National Party. Fico estimated that it would take approximately two weeks to establish their priorities should he receive the presidential mandate.
Regarding foreign policy, Fico highlighted that while Ukraine is a significant issue, Slovakia’s immediate concerns lie elsewhere. He expressed a commitment to facilitating peace talks and extending humanitarian aid to Ukraine while maintaining Slovakia’s stance on not arming the nation.
Fico also emphasized his commitment to fostering strong relationships with neighboring countries and preserving the cohesion of the Visegrád Group (V4). His primary goal, should Smer assume office, is to ensure government stability and responsible governance for a four-year term.
Fico concluded his statement with a slogan, “Credo Roberto Experto – Trust the experienced Roberto,” reaffirming Slovakia’s commitment to the European Union while acknowledging his reservations about certain aspects of EU policies. He called for respect of differing opinions in a democracy and clarified his party’s stance as rational, pragmatic, and left-leaning politicians.
On the pressing issue of migration, Fico asserted the need for immediate border controls at the Hungarian border, recognizing the potential challenges and the possibility of using force to address the situation. He also announced the immediate replacement of key positions in law enforcement.
Robert Fico’s announcement has set the stage for a potentially transformative period in Slovak politics, with a focus on governance, foreign policy, and border security at the forefront of his agenda.
Article by Prague Forum