The current interim Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger started gearing up for the September general election in the country the establishment of a new pro-Western, liberal centrist party, the Democrats.
The party will include four ministers from current government, including Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad. The new party is a split from the OLANO movement, currently running the country but whose discussions with coalition partners led to the collapse of the current centre-right ruling coalition.
In the intention of Heger, the new party will be based on pro-Western democratic values and constant support for Ukraine in the war with Russia. During the news conference presenting the party, Heger steer the way, saying that he aims Slovakia to be a place where “every citizen feels safe regardless of race, gender, faith, nationality or sexual orientation.”
Another cornerstone of the new party will be its unwillingness to cooperate with far-right parties, including former PM Robert Fico’s Smer party and Hlas, a scission party from Smer that it is running a more pre-Western platform.
Heger justified his refusal to work with Hlas, saying that there it is still too closely associated with Smer, who with Fico as PM governed in the periods 2006-2010 and 2012-2020.
The new actor will enter an already complicated field ahead of September general election. The election were called by Slovak President Zuzana Caputova following the lost of a no-confidence vote by the coalition government that was running the country since the 2020 general election.
An overall theme of the election will be the long-lasting divide between pro-Western forces and pro-Russian ones, the ladder led by far rights parties and Smer party, all in favour of ending Slovak support for Ukraine. Latest polls place Hlas ahead, with Smer following. With Heger closing the door to a possible alliance with Hlas, current predictions make it hard to envisage a Western-leaning government after the vote.