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Slovakia holds second round of voting in presidential election

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Slovakia holds second round of voting in presidential election

Slovakia will hold a second round of voting in the presidential election today.

Slovakia held the first round of the presidential election on 23 March. Ivan Korčok and Peter Pellegrini took the lead with 42.52% and 37.02% of the votes respectively. This first round of votes signals a shift from past parliamentary elections that positioned Pelegrini’s party in the majority.

Ivan Korčok, former Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia is part of the center-right SASKA party, while former PM Peter Pellegrini represents the SMER majority party in the parliament. The international community sees this election as a contest between Korčok’s pro-EU agenda and Pellegrini’s Euroskeptic stand.

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In the short term, expect both candidates to battle for the undecided voters amid a low voter turnout. In the first round, 51.9% of the electorate participated. While liberal participation is increasing among young voters, both candidates will likely contest the 7.7% of the vote from the Hungarian minority. Pellegrini must decide whether to court the supporters of Stefan Harbin. While they make up 11.73% of the electorate, their pro-Russian stance may hurt Pelligrini’s support among the wider electorate. In the mid to long term, the SMER majority in Congress is still expected to lead policy. Social welfare, foreign investment, and fiscal responsibility are likely to be the focused topics.

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