The polling stations opened at 7 a.m. and did not close until 10 p.m. The right-wing conservative protest party Olano by the entrepreneur Igor Matovic, which has only 45 members, is a surprising favorite. The abbreviation Olano stands for “ordinary people and independent personalities”. However, according to political experts, Matovic should only be able to succeed him as head of government if he succeeds in uniting the conservative-liberal opposition, which is divided into several parties. Only then would it be enough for a majority in the 150-seat parliament.
The left-wing populist Smer-SD, which led the previous three-party coalition in Bratislava, could be one of the big losers in the election. Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini had formed an alliance with nationalists and representatives of the Hungarian minority that has been criticized for exactly two years. At the time, the alleged commissioned murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his wife had caused horror across the country. Mass demonstrations against corruption and political cliques were the results.
On Friday, Pellegrini tried to live up to his role as a statesman by warning of a new wave of migration from Turkey to Europe. His government does not underestimate this danger. “It must be the case that Slovakia decides who is allowed to enter its territory and who is not,” said the 44-year-old. Slovakia, along with the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, belongs to the Visegrad group, which has so far strictly resisted the redistribution of refugees.