With its slogan "Let's beat the mafia together", Igor Matovic's anti-graft movement has ridden a wave of public anger over corruption to emerge as the unexpected favorite to oust Slovakia's ruling party in a Feb. 29 election.
Thousands of people across Slovakia held gatherings on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the murder of an investigative journalist that shook the country's political scene and may redraw the political map in next week's election.
Slovakia's far right leader began the year on trial on charges of spreading hate but could end up as kingmaker in a tight parliamentary election next week, adding to nationalist challenges confronting the European Union.
Slovakia's opposition parties could command a constitutional majority in an election on Feb. 29, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday, and two junior parties of the current coalition, led by center-left Smer, would fall short of the threshold for gaining parliamentary seats.
Slovakia's three-party coalition government approved on Wednesday a doubling of child benefits and an extra pension payment in 2020 as part of a package it aims to push through parliament before a national election later this month.
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