Slovakia ex-prime minister who pledged to end Ukraine aid wins election
Slovakia's Robert Fico, who won an election after pledging to end military aid to Ukraine, was in pole position to start talks on forming a government on Sunday while a liberal rival vowed to seek partners to prevent the former leftist prime minister's return to power.
With 99.98% of voting districts reporting in the Saturday election, Fico's SMER-SSD party scored nearly 23% of the vote, followed by almost 18% for the Progresivne Slovensko (Progressive Slovakia, PS) party.
The winner is expected to be given a political mandate by President Zuzana Caputova to try to find a majority, and form a government if successful.
A government led by Fico and his SMER-SSD party would see NATO member Slovakia joining Hungary in challenging the European Union's consensus on support for Ukraine, just as the bloc looks to maintain unity in opposing Russia's invasion.
The result - with SMER-SSD in need of coalition partners to rule - sets up the third-placed moderate leftist HLAS (Voice) as kingmaker.