Slovakia’s Elections : and the Winner Is…

Zuzana Caputova becomes the first woman to be president of Slovakia. She was elected as expected on March 30th. The candidate won 58.4% of the vote and therefore won easily against her rival, Vice- President of the Commission, responsible for Energy, Maros Sefcovic, who was supported by the party in office Direction-Social Democracy (SMER-SD), who won 41.6% of the vote. During the first round, a fortnight ago, Zuzana Caputova had taken a comfortable advance over her adversary.

Environment, anti-corruption & justice

I am glad that I won but also because it was made possible using means that many thought impossible: by expressing my opinion, by not using populism, by telling the truth, by attracting attention and by winning trust without aggressive rhetoric and without any cheap shots,” declared Zuzana Caputova on the announcement of the results, adding, “Let’s look for what brings us together, let’s put cooperation above personal interests. This election has proven that one can win without attacking one’s rivals.

The new President promised to fight to protect environment, to support the elderly and for more effective, independent justice. A year ago, a journalist investigating possible tax fraude and corruption, Jan Kuciak, was murdered. It has left the country very hurt and during the campaign, Zuazana Caputova has promised to be a fair president and to fight corruption. Between rounds, she received the visit of Josef Kuciak, brother of Jan. « I will certainly vote for Caputova. I shall not vote for anyone supported by the oligarchs and by people who took my brother and my sister- in-law away,” he wrote.

Zuzana Caputova has also received support from the Andrej Kiska, current President of Slovakia. To him, she symbolises human values – such as decency, humanism or solidarity – that are the most important when a country is facing crisis, like Slovakia. In eyes of the electorate, she represents an answer to the present issues.

A lawyer from Bratislava

Aged 45, Zuzana Caputova comes from Bratislava but spent her first years in the neighbouring town of Pezinok. A graduate in law from the University of Comenius Bratislava she joined Via Iuris, a Slovakian rights defence organisation and she worked as a lawyer for the non-profit sector notably taking care of maltreated children. She is a member of the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide.

No stranger to tough battles, in 2016 she received the prestigious Goldman Prize for the Environment for Europe for successfully blocking a planned landfill in her home town, Pezinok.

The new president of the Slovakian Republic will be sworn in on 15th June next.

Chloé Lourenço

Thank you Corinne Deloy for all the precious details.