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Slovakia Reacts To Bush's Reelection

  • Michael Shafir --> Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda said on 3 November upon learning about the victory of George W. Bush in the U.S. presidential election that the outcome was good for the United States, for Slovakia, and for the world at large, CTK and TASR reported.

Dzurinda told journalists in Bratislava that "not only the U.S., but the trans-Atlantic alliance and the democratic world need to have as president of the United States a leader who will successfully bring the struggle against international terrorism to an end. I am absolutely convinced That Mr. Bush is such a leader," Dzurinda added. He also said that he is all the more pleased as he considers Bush to be a personal friend. "A friend of Slovakia has won and a friend of mine has won" the U.S. elections, CTK quoted Dzurinda as saying. Separately, Dzurinda sent Bush a letter of congratulations in which he wrote that like the United States, Slovakia is devoted to democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. Dzurinda invited Bush to visit Slovakia.

President Ivan Gasparovic sent Bush a telegram of congratulations, in which he thanked Bush for having backed Slovakia's accession to NATO. Gasparovic said his country would continue to participate in the international struggle against terrorism, according to a presidential office press release cited by CTK.

Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan said on 3 November that he expects Bush to be the first U.S. president to visit Slovakia, because Bush knows he has a strong ally and a good friend in the country.

Not all Slovak politicians were as enthusiastic as the government about Bush's reelection. The Communist Party of Slovakia said in a statement quoted by CTK on 4 November that the U.S. voters had backed a "warmonger" and have opted for a "continuation of bloodshed, war, and the cooling off of relations with Europe," as well as "arrogant power" behavior and the "unbridled devastation of the environment." Opposition Smer (Direction) party parliamentary deputy Boris Zala told TASR that Bush's election to a second term signifies an increasingly conservative direction with unwelcome implications for international politics.

An editorial in the daily "Pravda" wondered how Bush managed to secure reelection after defeating his opponent, Democratic candidate Al Gore, only with the help of lawyers four years earlier. The daily said the answer seems to rest in Bush's having this time opted for the right electoral tactics by depicting his opponent, John Kerry, as a radical liberal and himself as the only advocate of moral vales. Bush managed to create among the electorate the impression that the morals of the United States are under threat by homosexuals and advocates of "choice" in abortions. "Now he will run a country that is even more split than it was before the elections and where the minority feels extremely alienated," the daily concluded.

[For reaction from around the world to the U.S. presidential election, see RFE/RL's webpage "World Reacts To U.S. Election".]