Slovaks elect first woman President

Zuzana Caputova’s clear victory on Saturday over the ruling party’s candidate was a blow to the populist-left Smer-SD

March 31, 2019 10:02 pm | Updated 10:02 pm IST - Bratislava

Newly elected Slovakia's President Zuzana Caputova attends a televised debate in Bratislava, Slovakia, March 31, 2019.

Newly elected Slovakia's President Zuzana Caputova attends a televised debate in Bratislava, Slovakia, March 31, 2019.

The election of Zuzana Caputova as Slovakia’s first woman President was greeted on Sunday as a vote for change, with the anti-graft activist expected to provide a check on a government tarnished after last year’s murder of a journalist.

The 45-year-old environmental lawyer’s clear victory on Saturday over the ruling party’s candidate was a blow to the populist-left Smer-SD — the largest grouping in Parliament — and could spell trouble for them in the EU elections and next year’s general vote.

Ms. Caputova won 58.4% of the vote according to a final tally of results released Sunday, compared with 41.6% for her ruling party rival, EU Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic.

“Let us look for what connects us. Let us promote cooperation above personal interests,” she said as the results rolled in.

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