According to preliminary results released by Slovakia’s Statistical Office at 9 a.m. local time, Robert Fico’s populist SMER party won 22.9% of the vote. Progressive Slovakia (PS), a liberal and pro-Ukrainian party won 17.9%. While in opposition, Fico became a close ally of Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban, especially when it came to criticism of the European Union. Fico previously served as Slovakia’s prime minister for more than a decade, first between 2006 and 2010 and then again from 2012 to 2018. Kuciak reported on corruption among the country’s elite, including people directly connected to Fico and his party SMER.