SMK: Cooperation with OLaNO Open Question, Had One Meeting So Far

SMK chair Jozsef Menyhart (Facebook photo)

Bratislava, November 18 (TASR) – Potential election cooperation between non-parliamentary ethnic-Hungarian SMK party and opposition OLaNO party is an open question at this stage, SMK chair Jozsef Menyhart told TASR on Saturday.

According to Menyhart, everything will be decided in talks, with the compatibility of programmes and goals being the key factors in whether or not a deal will be forged.

“We have participated in one meeting at the level of chairmen to date. No official negotiation regarding the [November 4] election has taken place so far; we didn’t manage to find time for it. Both parties garnered good results in the regional election, so now we’re in talks about regional cooperation,” said Menyhart.

Therefore, it is premature at this point to discuss [2020] election coalition. “Our goal is to make sure that SMK exceeds the 5-percent threshold [required to make it to the Parliament] on its own. The regional election results suggest that we have what it takes,” he thinks. However, Menyhart underlined that both parties pursue the same goal: government without Smer-SD and Slovak National Party (SNS). “Those are good common ground foundations. The fight against corruption and development of Slovakia are other two issues on which I’m sure we’ll share the same opinions,” he added.

Any casting of doubt over the loyalty of ethnic Hungarians living in southern Slovakia is nonsense, stressed Menyhart. “Politicians should think ahead to the future and the last two decades brought along two important lessons: the loyalty of [ethnic] Hungarians is beyond doubt and a democratic, pro-reform, right-wing government cannot be formed without the participation of [ethnic] Hungarian politicians. We’re on the same boat,” he concluded.