BRATISLAVA, Slovakia, March 10 (UPI) -- Former Prime Minister Robert Fico said he expects to return to office, with exit polls showing his social-democratic party ahead in Saturday's Slovak election.
One poll showed Direction-Social Democracy winning 75 seats, half of the 150-seat legislature, The Slovak Spectator reported. Another gave the party 69 seats.
Fico said he expects President Ivan Gasparovic to invite him to form the next government. He said he would invite every party that won more than 5 percent of the vote to a discussion on whether they could find common ground.
However, he acknowledged history could repeat itself. After the last election, a center-right coalition emerged, claiming a parliamentary majority and excluding Fico's party, usually known by its acronym, Smer.
Elections were called early after Prime Minister Iveta Radicova resigned in the wake of what became known as the Gorilla scandal. The scandal got its name from a secret service wiretapping operation several years ago that picked up conversations involving bribery.