Slovak politician accuses Petr Pavel of 'election interference'

Last week, the Czech president made comments about Robert Fico, who is hoping to succeed in Slovakia's general election this Saturday.


Written by ČTK Published on 25.09.2023 09:45:00 (updated on 25.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Former Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who is the leader of the Smer-Social Democracy (Smér-SD) party running in the Slovak general election this weekend, has criticized Czech President Petr Pavel for allegedly interfering in Slovakia's election campaign.

Pavel: Fico is bad for Czech-Slovak relations

Pavel commented last week on Fico's foreign policy stances, suggesting that if Fico were to become prime minister again, it could negatively impact relations between Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Pavel emphasized that Fico's differing opinions, particularly on foreign policy matters, could strain the historically close ties between the two nations.

In response to Pavel's assertions, Fico released a video on Facebook in which he vehemently rejected any claims of negative relations.

Fico characterized the Czech president’s remarks as unacceptable interference in the Slovak election campaign. He argued that if Pavel intended to convey to Slovak voters that Czech political representation would freeze relations with Slovakia in the event of a government led by Smér-SD, it would be an undue intrusion into Slovakia's internal affairs.

Different views on Ukraine

Fico openly admitted that his stance on the conflict in Ukraine differs significantly from that of Pavel. He voiced his opposition to further arms deliveries to Ukraine, arguing that prolonging the conflict would only result in unnecessary and significant loss of human lives. Fico called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and urged both sides to engage in talks to secure a ceasefire.

Furthermore, Fico pointed out disparities in his assessment of Western sanctions against Russia and the role of the U.S. in the Ukrainian conflict. However, he maintained that these differences should not serve as grounds for a deterioration in Czech-Slovak relations.

Interestingly, Fico garnered support from two former Czech presidents, Miloš Zeman and Václav Klaus, who endorsed his candidacy in the upcoming elections. Fico expressed his deep appreciation for their support.

As Slovakia prepares for an early general election scheduled for Saturday, the dispute between Fico and Pavel injects an unexpected element of tension into the political landscape. It remains to be seen how this controversy will impact the electoral outcome and the future relations between Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

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