Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Slovak presidential election: Korcok and Pellegrini in the 2nd round

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The presidential election in Slovakia is marked by deep divisions over the war in Ukraine.

Agence France-Presse

Ivan Korcok, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Peter Pellegrini, Speaker of the Slovak Parliament, will face each other in the second round of the presidential election, after coming first in the first round on Saturday, according to the almost complete results.

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Peter Pellegrini, candidate for the presidency of Slovakia

According to A count of 99.9% of the votes, Mr. Korcok obtained 42.44%, compared to 37.1% for Mr. Pellegrini, according to the Slovak Statistical Office. The second round of voting will take place on April 6.

Analysts had expected a close result, with Mr. Pellegrini, 48, and Mr. Korcok, 59, leading opinion polls ahead of the vote, marked by deep divisions over the war in neighboring Ukraine.

Former Prime Minister Pellegrini is part of the pro-Russia ruling camp led by Prime Minister Minister Robert Fico, who questioned Ukraine's sovereignty.

Liberal Korcok, supported by the opposition, is resolutely pro-Ukraine, as is outgoing President Zuzana Caputova, a critic of the government who chose not to seek a second term.

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C&#x27 ;is a huge success for us, Mr. Pellegrini told the press.

The results showed that most Slovaks [including those who voted for other candidates, Editor's note] do not want a liberal, right-wing or progressive president, he estimated.

Most instead expressed interest in a president who will defend Slovakia's national interests, who will not drag Slovakia into a war , but will talk about peace, for a president who will put Slovakia's interests first, he added.

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Ivan Korcok, candidate for the presidency of Slovakia

Mr. Korcok, who will probably face strong opposition from Mr. Fico's team if he is elected, for his part considered his result promising and encouraging.

But I have my feet on the ground, he said, I want to address voters who are not from the United States. agreement with the direction that this government is giving to Slovakia […] including in matters of foreign policy.

I want to be a president who […] will represent the country abroad and at home and who will make independent decisions, without taking orders, he said.< /p>

Although his function is primarily ceremonial, the Slovak president ratifies international treaties, appoints key judges and is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. p>

The leader of this country of 5.4 million inhabitants, a member of NATO and the European Union, can also veto laws passed by Parliament.

When voting in Bratislava, Juraj Jankovich, a retiree, said Pellegrini was a calm and wise prime minister and would be a good president.

Graphic designer Zora Puskacova said that Mr Korcok would be a worthy representative of Slovakia abroad. p>

Pellegrini […] will most likely act as an ally of Mr. Fico's government, analyst Pavol Babos told AFP.

The two men are long-time political allies, and Mr. Fico has appointed Mr. Pellegrini to various positions over the years, including speaker of parliament and minister of education.

The war in neighboring Ukraine divided Slovaks during the election campaign.

In the last debate before the vote, Mr Pellegrini, 48, demanded an immediate ceasefire and the opening of peace negotiations between Kiev and Moscow.

A position denounced by Mr. Korcok, 59 years.

The Russian Federation has trampled on international law […]. I don't think Ukraine should give up part of its territory to achieve peace, he told AFP. Peace cannot be synonymous with capitulation, he again insisted.

According to Mr. Bobos, the liberal candidate could very probably be a counterweight to the government coalition and […] would seek to correct the government's undemocratic tendencies.

Fico's cabinet has recently been criticized for adopting a controversial reform of the Penal Code, which notably provides for reduced penalties for corruption and economic crimes.

Although it presents itself as As an independent, Mr Korcok is supported by opposition parties who believe a Pellegrini victory would pave the way for presidential pardons for government allies convicted of corruption.

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