Current President Zuzana Caputova's term ends in June. Credit:

Ten Candidates Qualify For Ballot In Slovak Presidential Election

Ten of the eleven candidates to become the new Slovak president have met the conditions to run in the March direct election, the parliament announced in a press release yesterday. Parliament deputy speaker Peter Ziga signed a decision that one candidate, Robert Svec, cannot run.

Svec, whose Slovak Revival Movement opposes the country’s membership of NATO and the EU, has not met the conditions to participate in the presidential election. The main condition is to submit a petition supporting the candidacy signed by 15,000 voters or 15 MPs. Svec, who ran in the last presidential election in 2019, receiving 0.3% of the vote, may appeal against the decision. Earlier this week, he told a Slovak public radio and television broadcaster that he met the conditions to run for president.

There is no woman among the ten candidates to replace President Zuzana Caputova, whose term will end in mid-June.

The latest opinion polls showed that Parliament Speaker Peter Pellegrini is the favourite, with former foreign minister Ivan Korcok as his main rival. Pellegrini is supported in his presidential bid by his own party Hlas-SD, and by Smer-SD, the party of Prime Minister Robert Fico. Korcok is supported by opposition parties Progressive Slovakia (PS) and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS).

Andrej Danko, chairman of the coalition government’s Slovak National Party (SNS), is also running for president.

The campaign for the presidential elections has not yet reached full swing, but Korcok has repeatedly defined himself against Pellegrini. Korcok, a career diplomat who, like Caputova, is an advocate of liberal democracy, has criticised the law passed in parliament this week which lowers criminal penalties for corruption and related crimes, and abolishes the elite prosecutor’s office. Pellegrini, on the other hand, supported the bill during the parliamentary vote. Earlier, Pellegrini, one of Slovakia’s most popular politicians, rejected Korcok’s proposal to debate the changes to the criminal law.

The other presidential candidates include former justice minister and former head of the Slovak Supreme Court Stefan Harabin, former prime minister Igor Matovic, and former foreign minister Jan Kubis.

Krisztian Forro, who represents Slovakia’s large Hungarian minority, Marian Kotleba, leader of the extra-parliamentary far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia, historian Patrik Dubovsky and Milan Nahlik, a former police officer, have also met the conditions to run in the direct presidential election.

Brno Daily Subscribe
Sign up for morning news in your mail