Slovakia’s first female president says her victory is a win for progressive values

epa07475935 Slovak President-elect Zuzana Caputova prepares to the TV debate after Slovakia's presidential election run-off at RTVS television in Bratislava, Slovakia, 31 March 2019. Zuzana Caputova is winner in the presidential run-off elections and set to become Slovakia's first female president. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK

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Zuzana Caputova was elected as Slovakia’s first female President, after fighting a positive campaign based on progressive values and political reform, and providing a rare moment of hope for liberal politics in central Europe.

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.

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

After confirmation of her victory, Caputova said her victory showed you can win without attacking your opponents.

Caputova, a 45-year-old lawyer and anti-corruption campaigner, won 58.4% of the votes and will take office in June. At the star of the campaign, few would have expected her to win, a political outsider who was polling in single figures a few months before the vote.

With “Stand up to evil” as a campaign slogan, she eschewed personal attacks on her opponents and has spoken of the importance of the values of “humanism, solidarity and truth”.

The election follows the murder of an investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, who 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.

Via The Guardian

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