Slovak anti-migrant PM seeks third term

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico votes in Bratislava, 5 MarchImage copyright

Image caption

Mr Fico cast his vote in the capital Bratislava

Voting is under way in Slovakia with Prime Minister Robert Fico expected to win a third term after a campaign marked by anti-migrant rhetoric.

Ahead of the poll, Mr Fico had pledged he would not accept “one single Muslim” migrant to largely Christian Slovakia due to security concerns.

Opinion polls suggest his party may fail to win an outright majority.

His government’s tough views on migration echo those of Polish, Czech and Hungarian leaders.

Slovakia will take over the European Union’s rotating presidency in July.

  • Robert Fico’s anti-migrant rhetoric

Mr Fico’s Smer-Social Democracy party won a parliamentary landslide in 2012 but now may have to do a deal with a smaller party such as the ultra-Nationalist Slovak National Party.

Nurses and teachers recently held strikes calling for higher wages, highlighting simmering discontent in some sectors despite strong economic growth.

Mr Fico is known for populist policies such as free train travel for students and pensioners.

The leftist nationalist, 51, has fiercely opposed EU quotas on migrant resettlement from Greece and Italy, which would see his country take about 2,600 people.

Slovakia only received 260 asylum requests last year.

Polling stations close at 2100 GMT on Saturday.

Media captionRobert Fico and the migrant question, in 70 seconds

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