Slovakia gets first female president

Ms CaputovaImage copyright
Reuters

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Ms Caputova framed the election as a struggle between good and evil

Anti-corruption candidate Zuzana Caputova has won Slovakia’s presidential election, making her the country’s first female head of state.

Ms Caputova, who has almost no political experience, defeated high-profile diplomat Maros Sefcovic from the governing party in a second round run-off vote.

She framed the election as a struggle between good and evil.

The election follows the murder of an investigative journalist last year.

Jan Kuciak was looking into links between politicians and organised crime when he was shot alongside his fiancée in February 2018.

Ms Caputova cited Mr Kuciak’s death as one of the reasons she decided to run for president, which is a largely ceremonial role.

With almost all votes counted, she has won about 58% to Mr Sefcovic’s 42%.

She gained prominence as a lawyer, when she led a case against an illegal landfill lasting 14 years.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Ms Caputova’s campaign posters read: “Stand up against evil, together we can do it.”

Aged 45, a divorcee and mother of two, she is a member of the liberal Progressive Slovakia party, which has no seats in parliament.

In a country where same-sex marriage and adoption is not yet legal, her liberal views promote LGBTQ+ rights.

The opponent she defeated, Mr Sefcovic, is vice president of the European Commission.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Mr Sefcovic has a lot of experience – as a diplomat and a senior EU official

He was nominated by the ruling Smer-SD party, which is led by Robert Fico, who was forced to resign as prime minister following the Kuciak murder.

In the first voting round, Ms Caputova won 40% of the vote, with Mr Sefcovic gaining less than 19%.

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