Pellegrini’s Presidential Bid in Slovakia Could Fall Victim to Fico’s Aggressive Power Grip

Widespread protests and a tarnished international image spell trouble for Pellegrini's campaign

25 January 2024

Albin Sybera

Contributing Editor

Peter Pellegrini’s desire to serve as Slovak president may hinge on the public’s wavering support for the coalition government, as many associate Pellegrini with PM Robert Fico’s authoritarian power grab.

Peter Pellegrini, Chairman of the Slovak National Council and leader of the ruling coalition party, the centre-left Hlas, has formally confirmed his presidential bid.

“My vision is a socially just society capable of helping the weaker, older, sick or dependent,” Pellegrini said in opening statements of his confirmation speech before stressing the importance of “respect and decency in politics”.

His speech carefully avoided any of the radical controversies his coalition has made since taking power last autumn. Led by the leftist populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, the coalition made international headlines with such contentious moves as the axing of state military support for Ukraine or introducing legislation aimed at dismantling the Special Prosecutor Office overseeing serious crimes – none of this would have been possible without the backing of Pellegrini’s Hlas.

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Albin Sybera

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor. Albin is a freelance journalist, consultant and a former clerk at the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic. Besides Visegrad Insight, his texts can be also found at Britské listy or Balkan Insight and he is also a news reporter covering Czechia and Slovakia at bne IntelliNews.

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