Home / International/ Liberal lawyer Caputova wins election to become Slovakia’s first female president

Liberal lawyer Caputova wins election to become Slovakia’s first female president


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 1 April 2019 00:00

Facebook

 

BRATISLAVA (Reuters): Riding a wave of public fury over corruption, liberal lawyer Zuzana Caputova won Slovakia’s presidential election on Saturday, bucking a trend that has seen populist, anti-European Union politicians make gains across the continent. 



Corruption and change in political style were the main themes ahead of the run-off vote, which took place a year after journalist Jan Kuciak, who investigated high-profile fraud cases, and his fiancée were murdered at their home.Caputova, a pro-EU political novice who will be the euro zone country’s first female president, had 58.3% of the votes after results from 98.1% of voting districts were counted, ahead of European commissioner Maros Sefcovic who took 41.7%.Sefcovic, a respected diplomat who is also pro-EU, is backed by the ruling party Smer, the largest grouping in parliament that has dominated Slovak politics since 2006.

Caputova, who was the front runner having won the first round more than 20%age points ahead of Sefcovic, campaigned to end what she calls the capture of the state “by people pulling strings from behind”, a message that opinion polls show resonates with younger, educated voters.

The 45-year old member of a liberal non-parliamentary Progressive Slovakia party — which she pledged to leave if elected — has been endorsed by opposition parties and a junior party in the ruling coalition that represents the ethnic Hungarian minority, as well as outgoing President Andrej Kiska.

Caputova started her acceptance speech by thanking voters in Slovak, as well as in the Hungarian, Czech, Roma and Ruthenian languages, turning to all main minority groups.

“I am happy not just for the result but mainly that it is possible not to succumb to populism, to tell the truth, to raise interest without aggressive vocabulary,” she told a crowd of supporters.

“This started in the local election last year, was confirmed in the presidential election, and I believe the European (parliamentary election in May) will confirm it as well.”

Slovakia’s president wields little day-to-day power but appoints prime ministers and can veto appointments of senior prosecutors and judges.

Five people have been charged with the murders of Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, including businessman Marian Kocner, who was investigated by Kuciak, and who has become a symbol of perceived impunity after more than a decade of rule by Smer. Kocner denies any wrongdoing.

 


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Religion is a problem in Sri Lanka; can it be a solution?

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Generally, it is expected that religion should be a solution to a problem. Ironically in Sri Lanka religion is the problem. Therefore, what would be the solution? When religion becomes a problem of a country....


Orthodoxy and change: A perennial Muslim issue

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Whether Muslims live as minorities in non-Muslim countries or as majorities in a total of fifty seven countries, the clash of orthodoxy with modern challenges is a perennial issue that bedevils progress on several fronts in these communities.


Making the MCC Compact work for Sri Lanka

Friday, 16 August 2019

It is a sign of these political times that even an apolitical issue like a foreign aid program becomes a hot topic in Sri Lanka. In April 2019, the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) approved a compact program for Sri La


Sri Lanka needs a president hungry for success, not power

Friday, 16 August 2019

The late John F. Kennedy described politics as a “noble adventure, an adventure in which one joins hands with the masses for the service of man”. Not that the Kennedys didn’t play “politricks” in their heyday. But playing “politricks” w


Columnists More

Special Report

SPECIAL REPORT MORE