Slovak ruling party gets most votes but no majority

Slovakia's ruling leftist Smer party came out on top in a general election but without enough seats to beat a centre-right opposition coalition, near-final results showed Sunday.

Slovak ruling party gets most votes but no majority

Slovakia's ruling leftist Smer party came out on top in a general election but without enough seats to beat a centre-right opposition coalition, near-final results showed Sunday.

Of six parties which obtained enough votes to win seats in parliament, Smer, led by Prime Minister Robert Fico, took 34.87 percent of the vote, gaining 62 seats in the 150-seat parliament, the statistics office said, with 99 percent of votes counted.

But the results gave 79 of parliament's 150 seats to four centre-right and ethnic Hungarian parties.

The conservative SDKU, which introduced a flat tax rate, sold major state firms, and overhauled the pension and welfare sectors when it ruled from 1998 to 2006, was second with 15.4 percent of the ballot from Saturday's election.

It hopes to form a coalition with the Christian Democrats (KDH), the newly formed liberal Freedom and Solidarity party (SaS), and the ethnic Hungarian Most-Hid party.

Fico said he would try to form a two-party government. The centre-right has vowed not to work with him, but traditionally the first chance goes to the biggest party and Fico said his party had won the right by winning the most votes.

"This is a number that gives us the right to accept a mandate from the president to form a cabinet," he told a news conference. "We are ready for that. It is tough to predict what comes next." He said SMER was also ready to go into opposition.

Fico's other coalition partner, the People's Party-Movement for Democratic Slovakia (LS-HZDS), failed to pass the five-percent vote threshhold required to enter parliament.

A centre-right coalition would comprise the liberal SDKU-DS and the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), the Christian Democrat KDH and the ethnic Hungarian party Most-Hid.

The four parties had promised austerity steps before the election to get the economy, which has been battered by the global crisis, back on track.

Turnout in the vote reached 58.8 percent, statisticians said.

Agencies

Last Mod: 13 Haziran 2010, 10:09
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