Is the Slovak prime minister corrupt? That’s the general buzz ahead of the 12 June general elections, which Robert Fico looks likely to win. But Fico now faces revelations about his SMER Social Democratic party’s ties to the sponsors of his 2002 campaign. At the time, explains Czech daily Hospodářské noviny, he “went fishing for sponsors, promising them high political and economic posts”. Trading posts for campaign funding “is entirely legitimate”, pleads Fico in his defence, after SME published a copy of one such political payoff deal. The Slovak daily is appalled that “the party leader and current prime minister deems an illegal practice legitimate”. “In a democratic country”, such a scandal “would automatically disqualify the politician in question from holding any public office”, points out SME – which Fico is now suing for libel.