Liberal lawyer Zuzana Caputova will become the first woman head of the Slovak state, according to the almost complete partial results of the second round of the election published Saturday evening by the Office of Statistics. The anti-corruption activist gets 58.38% of the vote, according to the results on 99.84% of the polling stations. His rival Maros Sefcovic, European Commissioner supported by the current power, is credited with 41.61% of the vote.
Immediately after the publication of the first results Zuzana Caputova called the Slovaks to unite:
"Let's find out what unites us, put cooperation above personal interests," she told the press.
'It is possible not to give in to populism'
"For me, this election has proven that you can win without attacking your opponents and I believe that this trend will be confirmed in the European Parliament elections and Slovak elections next year," said the future Slovak president. Her result, she said, shows that "it is possible not to give in to populism" and to "gain people's confidence without resorting to aggressive vocabulary and personal attacks".
His rival acknowledged his defeat. "I just called Mrs Caputova to congratulate her on her victory, I send her a bouquet of flowers because the first woman president of the Slovakia deserves a bouquet, "said Maros Sefcovic.
For outgoing President Andrej Kiska, "many countries probably envy us for choosing a president who symbolizes values such as decency". "The Slovakia is in a moral crisis and needs a president like Zuzana Caputova. "Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini hoped for" constructive cooperation "with the new head of State.
According to the experts, Zuzana Caputova's broad victory can be explained by a wave of popular discontent with the ruling power following the assassination of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée last year. The journalist was preparing to publish an article on the alleged links between Slovak politicians and the Italian mafia.
At the time, the 45-year-old jurist, along with thousands of Slovaks, took part in unprecedented protests that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Robert Fico. So far, five people have been arrested, including the alleged murderer – a multimillionaire who has ties to Smer-SD, the ruling party.
On Thursday, the European Parliament called Slovakia to continue the investigation "including on all possible political connections". MEPs declared themselves "concerned by the presumptions of corruption, conflicts of interest, impunity (…) in the circles of the Slovak power".
Compared to Macron
Analysts are comparing Zuzana Caputova to French President Emmanuel Macron, an outsider who came to power in 2017 with a reformist program. "A similar story took place in the last presidential election in France, where the representative of a new political trend and a new political movement triumphed" in the election, told AFP Aneta Vilagi.
The election promises of the divorced woman and mother of two include environmental protection, support for the elderly and justice reform that would deprive "prosecutors and the police of political influence".
Many voters who gave their voice to Zuzana Caputova told AFP by refusing to support the candidate supported by the ruling party. For Ivan Polakovic, a 44-year-old economist, Zuzana Caputova was "the only choice possible". Slavomir Kubani, a 39-year-old financier, said he could not "vote for someone supported by Smer-SD, we had a pretty bad experience with them".
"Sefcovic is a party that works with the mafia," said Oliver Strycek, a computer technician. "We do not want to have a Angela Merkel in Slovakia"On the other hand, there is another voter, Ladislav Kuchta, 66. The Slovak president does not rule, but he ratifies international treaties and appoints the highest judges, and is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. the right of veto.