Bratislava, November 5 (TASR) – Political analyst Jan Baranek considers the OLaNO party and the other Opposition parties to be the “optical” regional election winners and, contrariwise, perceives Smer-SD’s performance as the greatest debacle, as a number of its governor candidates failed to win in their regions.
As Baranek told TASR, the conventional wisdom hadn’t expected Smer-SD to fare so badly in the election.
“The legislative change that turned a two-round election into a single round has completely failed to accomplish what its architects intended. Even though Smer embraced a purpose-built change of the election rules, in this case it was hoisted by its own petard,” said Baranek, who condemned the adjustment of democracy to suit the narrow interests of one political actor as nonsense and even counterproductive. “In this election, Smer-SD turned out to be a total flop.”
The political analyst also pointed out that even though far-right candidate Marian Kotleba lost his post of Banska Bystrica regional governor on Saturday, he still garnered an impressive result. “It demonstrates that he has tapped into a significant support that can’t be ignored and must be still taken into account,” claimed Baranek, adding that Kotleba also lost because almost all the other candidates joined forces against him.
Baranek perceives the election results as a bellwether of change that has begun to transform the political scene. He doesn’t believe it’s right to compare regional elections to general elections, however, as one is first-past-the-post and the other uses proportional representation. “I was mostly surprised by the results in Bratislava, Trnava and Presov regions, though,” he concluded.