Slovakia elections: Liberals win against pro-Moscow party – exit polls

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Leader of Progressive Slovakia Party Michal Simecka

Liberals have a slender lead in Slovakia’s elections over a pro-Moscow party led by populist former PM Robert Fico, exit polls suggest.

The pro-Moscow party, Smer-SD, had been expected to win the vote, but polls suggest its popularity has fallen in recent days.

Smer has pledged an immediate end to military support for Ukraine.

Vote counting is continuing and the real results will not be known for several hours.

If the liberal group Progressive Slovakia is confirmed as the winner, it will lead coalition talks on forming the next government.

Progressive Slovakia, led by European Parliament vice-speaker Michal Simecka, was projected to win 23.5% of the vote, ahead of 21.9% for Mr Fico’s party, an exit poll by Focus agency for TV Markiza showed.

Mr Fico was forced to step down as prime minister following the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak in 2018.

“If Smer enters government, we will not send a single round of ammunition to Ukraine,” he recently told supporters.

The threat has led to concerns among European Union and Nato members.

Slovakia has been a loyal and steadfast ally to Kyiv, supplying surface-to-air missiles and helicopters and even donating its entire fleet of retired MiG-29 fighter jets.

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