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HomeWorld NewsSlovakia Presidential Election 2024: What You Must Know

Slovakia Presidential Election 2024: What You Must Know


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The Slovak presidency is a largely ceremonial submit however can play an vital function when, as has been the case for the final 5 months, the president and prime minister signify opposing political camps.

The outgoing president, Zuzana Caputova, an outspoken liberal, has used her restricted powers and the bully pulpit to withstand the agenda of Prime Minister Robert Fico, a pugnacious veteran politician who returned energy in October after years within the political wilderness. He resigned in shame as prime minister in 2018 amid a swirl of corruption accusations following the homicide of an investigative journalist who had been wanting into authorities graft.

Mr. Fico, who since he returned to energy has typically introduced the US, not Russia, as the primary risk to European safety, needs to reverse Slovakia’s beforehand strong help for Ukraine. He additionally seeks to overtake the judicial programs in order to restrict its potential to prosecute corruption. Ms. Caputova opposes each these objectives and has delayed laws regarding the judiciary by sending it for constitutional evaluation.

The front-runner to interchange Ms. Caputova, in keeping with opinion polls, is Peter Pellegrini, a former shut ally and someday rival of Mr. Fico. A victory for Mr. Pellegrini would doubtless free the federal government’s arms to weaken the judiciary and to take a extra combative stand inside the European Union over coverage towards Ukraine. Slovakia, breaking ranks with E.U. coverage, final week despatched its overseas minister to hitch his Hungarian counterpart for a gathering in Turkey with Russia’s overseas minister, Sergei Lavrov.

However Mr. Fico, not like Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, has thus far not tried to dam E.U. help to Ukraine and has principally averted siding overtly with Hungary in opposition to far greater and extra highly effective European international locations. (Slovakia’s inhabitants is lower than 5.5 million.) There’s additionally a historical past of unhealthy blood between Slovak nationalists, like Mr. Fico, and Mr. Orban over what they see as Hungary’s meddling within the affairs of Slovakia’s giant ethnic Hungarian minority.

There are 11 candidates competing within the March 23 vote, which is prone to go to a runoff on April 6, as no person is predicted to get a majority within the first spherical.

The crowded subject, dominated by nationalists, features a far-right xenophobe, Marian Kotleba, and the previous speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko, who’s a fervent admirer of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Representing the liberal camp is a former overseas minister, Ivan Korcok, a pro-Western profession diplomat who has served as ambassador to the US and infrequently speaks in favor of supporting Ukraine.

Opinion polls give Mr. Pellegrini and Mr. Korcok every between 35 p.c and 40 p.c of the vote, far forward of all of the others however not sufficient to keep away from a runoff. Victory for Mr. Pellegrini would take away a brake on Mr. Fico’s ambitions, whereas a win for Mr. Korcok would doubtless result in a replay of the present standoff between the federal government and the president.

The primary-round outcomes, displaying not less than whether or not any single candidate has secured a majority and which two candidates will face off in a probable second spherical, must be clear late on election day. The timing of runoff outcomes will rely upon how shut the race is.

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