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07/04/24 | 12:18 pm

Pro-Russia candidate wins Slovakia’s Presidential election

Slovak nationalist-left government candidate Peter Pellegrini won the country’s Presidential election on Saturday, cementing the grip of pro-Russian Prime Minister Robert Fico over the country.

As 99.9 per cent of ballots have been counted, Peter Pellegrini received 53 per cent of the vote, while Korcok got 47 per cent votes.

The election result gives Fico’s ruling coalition full control over the executive and legislative branches of government.

Fico, who took power for the fourth time last October, has turned the country’s foreign policy to more pro-Russian views and initiated reforms of criminal law and the media, which have raised concerns over weakening the rule of law.

Pellegrini, 48, said his victory meant the government would have support in its aims, and not face an “opposition, opportunistic power centre” in reference to outgoing liberal president Zuzana Caputova.

“I will be a president who will support the government in its efforts for improving people’s lives,” Pellegrini said at his campaign headquarters.

“I will do everything for Slovakia to forever remain on the side of peace and not the side of war.”

With Fico at his side, Pellegrini declared victory early Sunday, soon after Korcok conceded defeat.

“I’m disappointed and bummed out, to be honest, but as a sportsman I have to respect the result”, Fico said.

Slovak presidents do not have many executive powers, but can veto laws or challenge them in the constitutional court. They nominate constitutional court judges, who may become important in political strife over the fate of Fico’s reforms, which would dramatically ease punishments for corruption.

(Agency inputs)

 
 

 
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