Pro-EU candidate wins first round of presidential election in Slovakia

The candidate opposed to the current Fico government, former Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok, won the first round of the presidential election in Slovakia. This was reported by Aktuality.

Korčok won with 42.52% of the vote. Peter Pellegrini, the current speaker and leader of the Social Democratic Party “Voice,” who receives support from pro-Russian Prime Minister Robert Fico, finished second with 37.03% of the vote.

Thus, during the first round of the presidential election in Slovakia, none of the nine candidates received the support necessary for victory—more than 50 percent of the vote.

On April 6, the second round of elections will take place. Korčok is trying to mobilize more voters for the second round.

“The result of the first round looks promising. But to be successful in the second round, we need to do more to reach out to voters across the political spectrum,” said Korčok.

Korčok promised to continue the pro-European policies of the current president, Zuzana Chaputova.

Ivan Korčok’s victory can confirm the pro-European stance of the Slovaks in light of the West’s confrontation with Russia.

Peter Pellegrini stated that most Slovaks do not want a “liberal, right-wing, progressive” president. He noted that voters prefer a head of state “who will not drag them into a war,” echoing Fico’s position against Western military support for Ukraine. 

A potential victory for Pellegrini could give Fico more room to push his program, which has attracted EU attention for its attempts to overhaul parts of the justice system and attacks on the media. 

In the context of EU assistance to Ukraine to fight Russian aggression, Robert Fico has repeatedly echoed Russian propaganda in favor of Putin. He recently stated that “the war began in 2014 with the acts of Ukrainian neo-Nazis.”

In the first round of the presidential election, Slovak voters chose between 11 candidates, with the main contenders being incumbent Speaker Peter Pellegrini, who is supported by pro-Russian Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, and opposition candidate, former Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok.

The current president of the country, Zuzana Caputova, does not participate in the elections. Earlier, she announced that she would retire from politics.

Slovakia elects its president for a five-year term, with a limit of two consecutive terms. The Slovak president has a ceremonial position but can also veto laws and appoint government officials, judges, and central bank governors, thereby checking the government’s decisions. 

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