Slovakia's Democrats say Hungarian government interfering in Slovak election campaign

September 26. 2023. – 05:11 PM



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The leader of Slovakia's Democrats, Eduard Heger says Hungary is interfering in the election campaign by Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó travelling to Slovakia on Tuesday and Wednesday to attend the campaign events of the Alliance (Aliancia – Szövetség), Újszó reports.

At a press conference held on Tuesday, the party's Vice-President Jaroslav Naď criticised the Hungarian Foreign Minister for travelling to Slovakia without first coordinating about his trip with the Slovak Foreign Ministry. Nad' called Szijjártó's visit just days before the Slovak parliamentary elections unacceptable. He also referred to Szijjártó's recent remarks on the work of the Slovak law enforcement agencies and brought up the Hungarian Foreign Minister's recent joint press conference with the leader of the opposition party Smer, Robert Fico.

He said that the only way to maintain good neighbourly relations was for Hungarian government representatives not to take steps towards interfering in Slovakia's internal affairs.

On Tuesday, Szijjártó attended the ceremony of the opening of the border crossing between Nagyrozvágy and Veľký Horeš which increased the number of border crossings between the two countries to 38, MTI reports. At the event, the Foreign Minister mentioned the elections that will take place this weekend.

"We sincerely hope that in the coming period, Slovakia will have a government that will prioritise developing cooperation with Hungary and will consider the fate of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia a matter of the utmost importance",

he said.

Slovakia is in the middle of the run-up to elections, with Fico, who was ousted in 2018, planning a big comeback. Opinion polls suggest his party, Smer, could come out on top in the parliamentary elections at the end of September. Smer is followed by Progressive Slovakia, which is currently not in parliament (but backs President Čaputová), with 17%, and Pellegrini's Voice with 13%. OĽaNO, the strongest party in the governing coalition that replaced Fico, is polling at 7 percent.

Fico served as prime minister of Slovakia from 2006-2010 and 2012-2018, but was forced to resign during the 2018 crisis triggered by the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his girlfriend, who were investigating links between the Slovak political elite, the Italian mafia, and Smer.

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