News & Analysis

Anti-corruption candidate wins first-round of Slovakia’s presidential election

Zuzana Čaputová, a progressive anti-corruption lawyer who entered politics only a year ago, comfortably won the first round of Slovakia’s presidential election on March 16, taking over 40 per cent of the vote.

Maroš Šefčovič — Slovakia’s current EU commissioner who is backed by Smer, the country’s biggest party — came second with 18.7 per cent and will face Ms Čaputová in a run-off on March 30.

“I see these elections . . in the context of a strong call for change after the tragic events of last spring,” Ms Caputova said as she cast her vote in her hometown of Pezinok, referring to the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak last year. “Perhaps we are also at a crossroads in terms of rebuilding public trust.”

The vote was the first time Slovak’s have been to the polls since the murder. On March 14, a Slovak businessman was charged with ordering Kuciak’s murder.