Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) congratulated Igor Matovič and his opposition movement Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) on their victory in the Saturday general election in Slovakia.
The OĽaNO party won with 25.02 percent of the vote, while the Direction – Social Democracy (Smer – SD) led by Robert Fico ended up with 18.29 percent. Third place belongs to the opposition party We Are Family (Sme Rodina) with 8.24 percent of vote, followed by the Kotlebists – People’s Party Our Slovakia (Kotlebovci – LSNS) with 7.97 percent of the vote, Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) with 6.22 percent of the vote, and For the People of former President Kiska (Za ľudí) with 5.77 percent.
However, Czech politicians had begun to comment on the election results before the vote count was even completed.
“Congratulations to Igor Matovič and OĽaNO for winning the Slovak general elections! They led a great campaign, thanks to which they managed to gain the huge trust of people,” wrote Prime Minister Babiš on Twitter, adding that he looks forward to working with OĽaNO both bilaterally and within the European Union and the Visegrad Four.
Gratuluji Igoru Matovičovi a hnutí OĽaNO k vítězství ve slovenských parlamentních volbách! Skvělá kampaň, díky které si dokázal získat obrovskou důvěru lidí ? Se Slovenskem máme vynikající vztahy a já se moc těším na spolupráci bilaterálně, ve V4 i v EU ????
— Andrej Babiš (@AndrejBabis) March 1, 2020
Czech President Miloš Zeman also congratulated the winner of the election through his spokesman Jiří Ovčáček, wishing Slovakia to form the government as soon as possible.
“The president believes that the above-standard relations between the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as the close cooperation within the V4, will continue to grow,” the spokesman said.
Furthermore, Zeman appreciated that, contrary to the election result predictions, extremist parties failed to succeed.
Deputy Prime Minister and Social Democrats (ČSSD) chairman Jan Hamáček also acknowledged the defeat of extremists, saying that “Slovak voters redrew the political map”.
“Congratulations to the winners. I wish Slovakia a stable and democratic government that will continue to develop the above-standard relations between our countries,” wrote Hamáček on Twitter.
Slovenští voliči včera překreslili politickou mapu. Nezabodoval Kotlebův extremismus, jak některé průzkumy naznačovaly. Blahopřeji vítězům a přeji Slovensku stabilní a demokratickou vládu, která bude pokračovat v nadstandardních vztazích mezi našimi zeměmi.
— Jan Hamáček (@jhamacek) March 1, 2020
Representatives of the Czech opposition parties see the election results as a sign of change. Civic Democrats (ODS) chairman Petr Fiala said that “the success of the opposition parties in Slovakia shows that change is possible. I believe that the new government will guide Slovakia in the right direction.”
Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) chairman Marian Jurečka then said that the result gives Slovaks a hope for change.
“Whether the opposition leaders can sweep out corruption and clientelism for good, whether they can enforce an effective rule of law, it will depend on them and their ability to make a reasonable agreement and find a good compromise,” stated Jurečka.