New Slovak president Peter Pellegrini yet to define political stance – analyst


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Slovakia’s new president Peter Pellegrini has not precisely defined his political position after winning presidential elections on Saturday, according to a political scientist. 

“During his last night speech, he still expressed himself as being committed pro-European, committed pro-NATO, but still said that we need to protect the Slovakian interests” said Petr Just at the Charles University in Prague. 

Pellegrini is “still playing this two-sided or two-face role. So we’ll see how he’s going to turn up once he’s the president.”

An ally of populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, Pellegrini received about 54% of votes with nearly all polling stations counted, after the second round this weekend.

Pellegrini promised to provide the people of Slovakia with a “better, safer and better quality of life.” 

He emphasised his intention “to remain on the side of peace,” referring to one of the key issues during the campaign – support for Ukraine.

His losing opponent, Ivan Korčok, congratulated Pellegrini. 

But warned him, saying “I will not forget the fact that the campaign was won by turning me into a candidate of war” – as Korčok strongly favoured continued aid to Ukraine.

Critics worry Slovakia under Fico will abandon its pro-Western course and follow the direction of Hungary under populist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

The new government immediately halted any arms deliveries to Ukraine. 

Thousands have repeatedly taken to the streets across Slovakia recently to rally against Fico’s pro-Russian and other policies, including plans to amend the penal code and take control of the public media.

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