By tomas mrva
BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – Voters appear to be ready to oust the center-left party Smer, which has dominated Slovakia's political landscape for more than a decade in Saturday's national elections overshadowed by rage over high-level transplants ,
Opinion polls before a two-week moratorium before the vote indicated a rapid increase in the Ordinary People (OLANO) anti-corruption movement, increasing the likelihood that they would form a center-right majority with smaller conservative and liberal parties to outsmart Smer.
The founder and leader of OLANO, Igor Matovic, has committed to clean up Slovak politics, a goal that is contained in his party's slogan: "Let's beat the mafia together".
"We can get rid of the government that has used its power to make itself and people rich," he said in the last television debate this week. "Poor people paid for it, sick people died unnecessarily and young people left Slovakia. Let's reverse that."
Political change in the member state of the euro zone, which, in contrast to the neighbors Hungary and Poland of the central European Visegrad group, avoided fighting with Brussels, began with the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee in 2018.
An investigation uncovered communications between a businessman who is on trial for ordering the hit and politicians and judicial officers. He denied the indictment.
The murder led to the biggest street protests in the post-communist era and forced Smer leader Robert Fico to resign, although his party's coalition remained in power in the nation of 5.5 million.
OLANO's support increased after Matovic filmed a video outside a former Smer finance minister's villa in France last month, demanding that the property be confiscated.
Matovic, 46, told Reuters last week that he wanted to be a conciliatory voice to the EU in Visegrad.
The former owner of regional newspapers, legislator since 2010, describes himself as socially conservative and economically liberal.
In the European Parliament, OLANO is associated with the center-right European People's Party.
"What could happen would be a certain differentiation from other Visegrad countries and a tendency towards Germany or the Franco-German (European) engine," said political scientist Pavol Babos from Comenius University in Bratislava.
However, a government led by OLANO may have difficulty agreeing on a policy as it would consist of up to six parties, including Eurosceptics, Conservatives and Progressives.
Smer had the worst result since 2002, although it may still be the biggest party. The allies of the nationalist and Hungarian minorities were at risk of leaving parliament.
It might try to stay in power by getting the support of the far-right People's Party, but political analysts said this option seems increasingly unlikely.
No new government is likely to lift Slovakia's opposition to the admission of migrants or the permission of gay partnerships or marriages.
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