A group of Slovak civil servants and members of liberal NGOs were sent to Brussels in April to call for EU and NATO intervention in Slovakia’s upcoming elections, opposition leader Robert Fico has claimed.
Fico, the head of the Slovak opposition party, Direction – Slovak Social Democracy (Smer-SD), said the trip was an attempt to meddle in the internal affairs of Slovakia and prevent him from winning the election scheduled for September.
According to the head of the Smer party, which is currently leading the polls in Slovakia, the group sought to warn EU and NATO officials that Fico would withdraw Slovakia from NATO and cozy up to Russia if he were reelected to the office of prime minister, a post he has twice previously held, most recently in 2018.
The allegation, reported in the Postoj newspaper, was described by the Smer party as a “coordinated attempt to discredit the opposition” and blatant election interference. The party has requested an explanation from the control committee of the Slovak parliament and has initiated an extraordinary meeting to discover the truth.
Fico claimed that representatives of the Slovak civil service, the police, the National Security Office, and several members of non-governmental organizations called on Eurocrats to intervene in Slovakia due to unfavorable developments that saw the collapse of Eduard Heger’s administration.
Election favorite Fico tells Czech politicians to respect Slovak sovereignty and stay out of the country’s internal affairs
The Czech president and foreign minister had expressed concerns about Fico’s call to withdraw Slovak support for Ukraine should he return to power
They allegedly called for a team of NATO election monitors to be sent to Slovakia “because Fico will win and Slovakia will withdraw from NATO.”
Fico is a hard-line political figure whose ideals do not align with the European mainstream. He has previously called to block anti-Russian sanctions, ban giving arms to Ukraine, and block attempts by Ukraine to join NATO. However, he rejects the notion that he would pull Slovakia out of the defense alliance.
“We respect and value the obligations that Slovakia has towards this organization,” he said recently.
Smer has requested submissions and records from all alleged participants of the trip and has announced its intention to ask general prosecutor Maroš Žilinka to consider whether crimes have been committed.
Jaroslav Naď, who served as Slovakia’s defense minister until recently, rejected Fico’s allegations, calling the Smer party leader a “Russian troll.”