Slovakia elects first female president

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

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

She framed the election as a struggle between good and evil. The election follows the murder of an investigative journalist last year.

Anti-corruption candidate Zuzana Caputova elected president of Slovakia

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

Caputova cited Kuciak’s murder as one of the reasons she decided to run for president, which is a largely ceremonial role. She won 58% of the vote, with Sefcovic trailing on 42%.

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

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

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 have seen her promote LGBTQ+ rights. (BBC)

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