SLOVAKIA-GN:Slovaks began voting to elect a new president with environmental lawyer Zuzana Caputova the favourite to win the poll, bucking a trend that has seen the rise of populist, anti-European Union politicians across the continent. Corruption and change have been the main themes ahead of the runoff vote, which takes place a year after journalist Jan Kuciak, who investigated high-profile corruption cases, and his fiancee were murdered at their home.
A pro-European political novice looking to become the first woman to be SlovakiaA’s president, Caputova won the first round of voting two weeks ago with 40.6 percent, ahead of EU Commissioner Maros Sefcovic with 18.7 percent.
Sefcovic is backed by the ruling leftist party Smer, which is the largest party in parliament.
Caputova ran on a slogan of “Stand up to evil” and campaigned to end what she calls the capture of the state “by people pulling strings from behind”, a message that resonates with younger, educated voters, according to opinion polls.
Slovakia’s president does not wield much day-to-day power but can veto appointments of senior prosecutors and judges, pivotal in the fight against corruption.
The president also ratifies international treaties and is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.