March 5, 2020 / 3:48 PM / a month ago

Slovak former president's party to enter coalition talks

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Slovakia’s centrist Za Ludi party will enter coalition talks with the election winner and two other center-right parties, Za Ludi chief and ex-president Andrej Kiska said on Thursday, opening the way to a broad yet possibly shaky government.

Kiska’s party, whose name means For the People, could help OLANO (Ordinary people) leader Igor Matovic form a coalition with 95 of 150 seats in the parliament, strong enough to carry out constitutional changes.

Besides Za Ludi, OLANO’s prospective partners are Sme Rodina (We are Family), a socially conservative party that placed third, and the liberal SaS (Freedom and Solidarity) party.

Za Ludi is the weakest of the four with 5.8% of the votes received in the Feb. 29 election.

Analysts say that the coalition could be fragile because of possible disagreements over economic policies like taxation.

In a fragmented vote on Sunday, OLANO - a politically amorphous, pro-European Union and pro-NATO movement - won 25%, beating center-left Smer, which had dominated Slovakian politics for over a decade into second place with 18.3%.

Reporting by Tomas Mrva; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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