IVO president comments on chances of the newly established Slovak-Hungarian party Most-Hid (Bridge)

President of the think tank Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) Grigorij Meseznikov thinks that the new political party MOST-HID may attract voters the SMK that represents the Hungarian minority in Slovakia along with center-right voters from large towns. “There are factors, which may help the party to address a certain part of voters, the question is, whether it will be enough for the party to enter parliament,” he said. Bela Bugar, who will probably be the first chairman of the new party may benefit from the fact that he is trustworthy also for Slovaks. He has been a popular politician of Hungarian ethnic origin in Slovakia for a longer time. Important will be also the fact, who from Slovak personalities will be in the new party.

Mr. Meseznikov sees a problem of the party in the fact that it will be set up as a result of an internal conflict in the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK), with which Mr. Bugar has been mostly associated with so far. Most-Hid defines itself as a party that will connect Slovaks and ethnic Hungarians and will eliminate the tendency of worsening Slovak-Hungarian relations. According to Mr. Meseznikov, though this is a nice idea, it does not have to be enough for the Slovak voters. Although there is a group of Slovak voters disillusioned about the current political parties, priority for them are other issues than Slovak-Hungarian reconciliation, namely economics, social situation and the state of democracy.

Mr. Meseznikov reminded that there have been parties in Slovakia, which were set up shortly before elections, and which made it into parliament. The Party of Civil Understanding (SOP) was set up six months prior to elections and the Alliance of a New Citizen (ANO) was established one year and a half ahead of the polling. Only the parliamentary elections in June of next year will show whether Bugar’s party will manage to exceed a five-percent threshold to enter the parliament.

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