sunny.png
Sunday June 16th, 2019 8:48PM

Slovakia could get its first woman president in ballot

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia could get its first woman president as voters elect a new head of state on Saturday.

The leading contenders are Zuzana Caputova, an environmental activist who is in favor of gay rights and opposes a ban on abortion in this conservative Roman Catholic country, and Maros Sefcovic, an establishment figure who is the European Commission Vice-President.

In all, 13 candidates are vying to become the country's fifth head of state since Slovakia gained independence in 1993 after Czechoslovakia split in two.

Andrej Kiska, a successful businessman-turned-philanthropist, is not standing for a second five-year term in the largely ceremonial post.

His term in office was marked by clashes with former prime minister Robert Fico, considered a populist leader.

Kiska supported the huge street protests that led to the fall of Fico's coalition government amid a political crisis triggered by the slayings last year of an investigative reporter and his fiancee. The reporter, Jan Kuciak, was investigating possible widespread government corruption and Italian mob influence.

If no single candidate wins a majority on Saturday, a runoff will be held on March 30 in this central European nation of 5.4 million people.

____

WHAT'S AT STAKE

The president has the power to pick the prime minister, appoint Constitutional Court judges and veto laws. Parliament can override the veto with a simple majority, however. The government, led by the prime minister, possesses most executive powers.

____

THE FAVORITES

Zuzana Caputova

Caputova, a 45-year-old lawyer, is a rising star of Slovak politics. She became known for leading a successful fight against a toxic waste dump in her home town of Pezinok near the capital of Bratislava, for which she received an international environmental prize in 2016. She was also part of a campaign in 2017 that led to the annulment of pardons granted by former authoritarian prime minister Vladimir Meciar. She is deputy chairman of "Progressive Slovakia," a non-parliamentary party that supported the massive street protests after Kuciak's death.

Maros Sefcovic

A career diplomat, 52-year-old Sefcovic was a member of the Communist Party before the anti-Communist 1989 Velvet Revolution. Sefcovic accepted an offer to stand from Fico's left-wing Smer-Social Democracy party, a dominant political group in Slovakia in recent years whose reputation has been tarnished by corruption scandals.

___

OTHER NOTABLE CANDIDATES

Stefan Harabin

A former justice minister and chief judge of the Supreme Court, 61-year-old Harabin was a close ally of Meciar, whose rule in the 1990s was marred by repeated flouting of the law. A populist, Harabin exploits the fear of migration and presents himself as a guardian of traditional conservative values. As a vocal opponent of the sanctions against Russia for its actions against Ukraine, Harabin is a favorite candidate of pro-Russian media.

Marian Kotleba, 42

The 42-year-old heads the neo-Nazi People's Party Our Slovakia, which has 14 lawmakers in the 150-seat Slovak Parliament. Kotleba and his party speak admiringly of Slovakia's time as a Nazi puppet state during World War II. Party members use Nazi salutes and consider NATO a terror group. They want Slovakia to leave the military alliance and the European Union.

___

WHAT'S AHEAD

Caputova and Sefcovic are predicted by polls to be the two candidates to advance to a runoff. But the last polls allowed were published two weeks before Saturday's ballot. Analysts say there's a room for a surprise result, particularly for Harabin who was running third in the polls.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Slovakia could get its first woman president in ballot
Slovakia could get its first woman president as voters elect a new head of state on Saturday
1:32PM ( 6 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump to veto measure terminating border order
President Donald Trump will sign the first veto of his presidency Friday, a day after Congress vote to terminate the national emergency Trump declared at the southern border
1:21PM ( 17 minutes ago )
White House denounces 'act of hate' in mosque shooting
President Donald Trump sent condolences to the victims of the New Zealand mosque massacre and the White House issued a statement denouncing the "vicious act of hate."
1:18PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Court filing: Ex-Trump aide Gates continues to cooperate
Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is not ready to be sentenced because he's continuing to cooperate with "several ongoing investigations"
12:45PM ( 53 minutes ago )
The Latest: Danish PM: Climate protesters are 'right'
Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen has praised young people who are marching for more action against climate change, tweeting "we must listen to the youth. Especially when they're right."
12:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump poised to wield veto pen over border order
President Donald Trump is poised to sign the first veto of his presidency after a dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats to block his declaration of a national emergency at the border
12:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Paris students hold 'Now or Never' climate signs
Teenagers in Paris brandished "Now or Never" signs as they thronged cobblestoned streets around the domed Pantheon building, which rises above the Left Bank, in rallies to demand more action on climate change
10:41AM ( 2 hours ago )
May tries to save Brexit deal after vote to delay UK exit
British Prime Minister Theresa May is working to pull off an against-the-odds rescue for her European Union divorce deal, after Parliament voted to postpone Brexit to avert a chaotic departure in two weeks
9:44AM ( 3 hours ago )
Democratic 2020 field taking shape with Beto O'Rourke entry
The contours of the Democratic presidential primary came into clearer focus this week with Texan Beto O'Rourke's entry into the race
9:36AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: O'Rourke: US must reckon with systematic racism
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke says it is important for the U.S. to confront the truth about how black people have been treated in the country
10:01PM ( 15 hours ago )
Senate confirms White House official Rao for appeals court
The Senate has confirmed President Trump's nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on a high-profile appeals court
5:52PM ( 1 day ago )
Howard Schultz offers vision for an independent presidency
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Wednesday offered his vision for what an independent presidency could look like, even though he still hasn't decided whether to enter the White House race himself
4:19PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
O'Rourke returning to Wisconsin for early campaign stops
Beto O'Rourke is returning to Wisconsin this weekend for early campaign stops that speak to the importance of the state in the 2020 presidential race
11:09AM ( 2 hours ago )
Minnesota's Klobuchar all-in on Iowa as 2020 field grows
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is going all-in on Iowa as she tries to become the Democratic presidential nominee
10:50AM ( 2 hours ago )
Greece backs Bolivian leader's call for Venezuela dialogue
Greece's left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is backing calls by Bolivia for a negotiated settlement to the severe political and financial crisis in Venezuela
9:23AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Elections
Beto O'Rourke enters 2020 race attempting bipartisan appeal
Beto O'Rourke has jumped into the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential race and made his first visit to Iowa, which kicks off presidential nomination season
2:11PM ( 23 hours ago )
The Latest: O'Rourke begins securing House endorsements
Hours after O'Rourke declares his White House candidacy, former House colleagues endorse him
2:02PM ( 23 hours ago )
Sen. Birch Bayh, champion of Title IX federal law, dies
Former Sen. Birch Bayh, who championed the Title IX federal law banning discrimination against women in college admissions and sports, has died
1:53PM ( 23 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
Mosque shooter brandished white supremacist iconography
The shooter behind a live-streamed rampage at two New Zealand mosques that left nearly 50 people dead used rifles littered with white-supremacist graffiti glorifying historical battles against Muslims
11:51AM ( 1 hour ago )
Mosque killer's rifles bore white-supremacist references
The self-proclaimed racist who attacked a New Zealand mosque during Friday prayers in an assault that killed 49 people used rifles covered in white-supremacist graffiti and listened to a song glorifying a Bosnian Serb war criminal
11:21AM ( 2 hours ago )
Mosque shooter a white nationalist seeking revenge
New Zealand mosque shooter who livestreamed attack says he is an Australian white nationalist
9:53AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
The Latest: Trump to veto measure terminating border order
President Donald Trump will sign the first veto of his presidency Friday, a day after Congress vote to terminate the national emergency Trump declared at the southern border
1:21PM ( 17 minutes ago )
White House denounces 'act of hate' in mosque shooting
President Donald Trump sent condolences to the victims of the New Zealand mosque massacre and the White House issued a statement denouncing the "vicious act of hate."
1:18PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Board approves Raiders lease to remain in Oakland in 2019
The Coliseum Authority has approved a lease agreement to keep the Raiders in Oakland for at least one more season
1:15PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Trump poised to veto border emergency rebuke
President Donald Trump is poised to sign the first veto of his presidency
1:12PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Admissions scandal unfolds amid cynicism about moral values
The college-admissions bribery scheme revealed this week by federal prosecutors coincides with increasing cynicism about U.S. moral values
1:10PM ( 29 minutes ago )