A liberal, pro-European candidate – Zuzana Caputova has become the first female President or Head of the State of Slovakia on Saturday, March 30, 2019.
Ms. Caputova, who has almost no political experience, defeated the highly experienced diplomat and Commissioner of European Union (EU) – Maros Sefcovic. In the 2nd round run-off vote, Ms. Caputova won 58.4% of the vote while Maros Sefcovic, received 41.6% votes.
Maros was nominated by the Robert Fico led ruling party – Smer-SD. Robert was forced to resign from the office of Prime Minister after the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak. The journalist and his fiancé were shot dead in February 2018. He was investigating links between politicians and organised crime. He was about to publish a report on alleged ties between Slovak Politicians and the Italian mafia.
Speaking on the occasion, she said, “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. This started in the local election last year, was confirmed in the presidential election, and I believe the European (parliamentary election in May 2019) will confirm it as well.”
She further added, she would, “initiate systematic changes that would deprive prosecutors and the police of political influence.”
Her campaign, “stand up to evil”, focussed on good vs evil. She raised her voice on the killing on Kuciak. She cited Kuciak’s death as one of the major reasons to contest for the Presential poll. Prior to this, she gained prominence as a lawyer, when she successfully led a case against illegal landfill lasting 14 years.
Speaking on her campaign, she said, “This campaign has shown that values like humanity, solidarity, truth are important for a lot of people in Slovakia. I stand here today because of that.”
For the records, Caputova is 45 years old divorcee with 2 children. She is a member of the liberal Progressive Slovakia Party, which has no seats in Parliament. She strongly opposes the ban on abortion in the conservative Roman Catholic country. She also strongly advocates LGBT rights.
She is the 5th President of Slovakia since the country gained independence after the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993.