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It will not be easy to form new Slovak gov’t, Czech politicians say

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Prague, March 6 (CTK) – To form a new government in Slovakia will be very difficult because of the splintered general election results, while a stable cabinet is important for the Czech Republic, too, because Slovakia will preside the EU in the latter half of the year, Czech politicians agreed yesterday.
The ruling Smer-Social Democracy (Smer-SD) of Prime Minister Robert Fico only won 28 percent of the vote on Saturday, which is a marked slump against the previous election in 2012 and public opinion polls’ predictions.
Foreing Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said in the Questions of Vaclav Moravec on public Czech Television (CT) Smer-SD is the sole party that has a chance of forming a government.
The biggest surprise of the election is the success of the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia that won 8 percent.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) congratulated Fico on the election victory, but wrote in a press release that “to form a government in such a disintegrated parliament will not be easy,” Sobotka wrote in a press release.
He wished “Slovaks stability because they are our closest friends.”
“I would like to wish Slovakia to have as soon as possible a strong and stable government, with which we will be capable to further tightly cooperate like the closest neighbours and partnes in the EU and the V4,” Sobotka wrote.
The V4 is comprised of the two countries, Hungary and Poland.
“It will be very difficult, if not impossible to form a reasonable government in Slovakia,” Pavel Belobradek, deputy prime minister and Christian Democrat (KUD-CSL) chairman, wrote on Twitter.
MEP Pavel Telicka (ANO) mentioned on the social network the fall of Mirek Topolanek’s (Civic Democrats, ODS) government during the Czech EU presidency in 2009.
“Will Slovakia repeat the tragic mistake of the CSSD that egoistically toppled the government during the EU presidency, or will it be able to form a government?”
Zaoralek said Slovakia will manage its role. “It is most important at a time when Europe is faced with such tests that the Slovak presidency should be capable of providing assistance. I am convinced that Smer will be capable of creating a pro-European government and that Slovakia will be capable of fulfilling its task,” Zaoralek said.
Slovakia’s forthcoming EU presidency is also important for the Czhch Republic, Czech politicians agee.
Sobotka wrote that the Czech Republic is ready to strongly support Slovakia when it presides the EU.
“Government stability in Slovakia is also in the interest of the Czech Republic, particularly in view of the forthcoming Slovak EU presidency that will have to tackle migrant crisis issues and the consequences of Britain’s referendum on leaving the EU,” ODS chairman Petr Fiala said.
Opposition conservative TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalosuek said the forming of a new government will be difficult, and that such a government would not be more pro-European than the current one, which would be a signal for further cooperation of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia that form the Visegrad Group.
Vojtech Filip, chairman of the opposition Communists (KSCM), said he is convinced that the current serious situation and the migrant crisis threat together with responsibility for the EU presidency will make relevant parties to enter into a coalition.
Smer lost its majority of 83 votes in the 150-seat parliament which allowed it to form a one-colour government in 2012.
Fico said, however, he will attempt to form a new government, but added that this will not be easy and will probably take more time than usual.
In the election campaign, Fico mainly bet on the migrant crisis rhetoric.
“Social Democrats cannot take over the themes and rhetoric of extremists. They lose support and vacate space for them,” Czech Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier (CSSD) wrote on Twitter yesterday, referring to the rightists’ success.
“I am naturally unhappy about the fall of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and the success of the extremists,” Belobradek wrote.
The KDH will probably not be returned to parliament for the first time since the fall of the communist regime in 1989.
Telicka wrote that Slovakia was taught an election lesson. “Populism is not a key to government, but it rather opens the door for even more populist and extremist political entities,” he said.
Fiala said the extreme right’s success is a warning for all Europe.
“It is warning that voters decided to support someone for whose opinions there is no room in a democratic society. We must not allow a repeat of this in this country,” Fiala said.

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