News Politics & International Slovakia

Zuzana Čaputová becomes Slovakia’s first female president

Bratislava, Slovakia – History is in the making in Slovakia.

Slovaks have just elected Zuzana Čaputová, a 45-year-old anti-corruption lawyer, as its first female president in history.

According to preliminary results, Čaputová won 58.4% of the votes (around 1.050.000 ballots), compared to 41.6% (750.000 votes) for opponent Smer-nominee Maroš Šefčovič, who called her to congratulate her around midnight.

At roughly 41.8%, turnout reached an all-time low for a Slovak presidential election, and was seven points lower than first round participation.

The election of Zuzana Čaputová, an environmental activist nicknamed “Slovakia’s Erin Brockovich” and political newcomer with no experience in public office, is a stinging rebuke of the ruling Smer party and finds its roots in the public outrage sparked by the murder, last year, of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak. Her anti-corruption platform, which some analysts billed as “populist”, echoed the population’s call for ‘greater decency’, accountability and honesty from its political representatives.

In the first round of the election, Zuzana Čaputová won a landslide victory with 40.5%, well ahead of Maroš Šefčovič’s 18.7%. To close the gap with his opponent, Šefčovič, an EU Commissioner and Soviet-era, Moscow-educated career diplomat who spent most of his career in Brussels, went fishing for the votes of far-right and radical candidates Štefan Harabin (14.4%) and Marian Kotleba (10.4%), respectively third and fourth on March 16. He led an aggressive, but unconvincing, campaign to portray himself as a true Christian and champion of conservative values, while trying to present Čaputová, whose agenda includes support for abortion and same-sex partnerships, as an “ultra-liberal” candidate.

Hailed as an unprecedented milestone in the country’s history, Čaputová’s election also embodies, for many, the hope of a new trend in Central European politics, and the impending arrival of a new generation of politicians to counter the rise of populism, illiberalism and authoritarianism sweeping through the region.

Čaputová will officially take office and replace president Andrej Kiska at Bratislava’s Presidential Palace in June.

Coordinated by Ábel Bede, Kafkadesk's Budapest office is made up of a growing team of freelance journalists, editors and fact-checkers passionate about Hungarian affairs and dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, events and insights from Hungary.

25 comments on “Zuzana Čaputová becomes Slovakia’s first female president

  1. Pingback: Macron’s ‘En Marche!’ seeks allies in Central Europe ahead of EU elections – Kafkadesk

  2. Pingback: Slovakia ditches international treaty on women’s rights – Kafkadesk

  3. Pingback: Kiska’s party, Czech faux-pas, Polish consolation babies… What’s new? – Kafkadesk

  4. Pingback: The uncertain future of energy in Central Europe – Kafkadesk

  5. Pingback: Zuzana Čaputová: Why did Slovakia’s Hungarian community choose her? – Kafkadesk

  6. Pingback: Slovakia’s Smer, Czech Euroscepticism and Poland’s catechism in troubled waters… What’s new? – Kafkadesk

  7. Pingback: Zuzana Čaputová elected European Personality of the Year – Kafkadesk

  8. Pingback: Čaputová’s Progressive Slovakia Party on the rise ahead of EU elections – Kafkadesk

  9. Pingback: Slovakia: Ruling Smer party faces unprecedented crisis after EU election defeat – Kafkadesk

  10. Pingback: Orbán’s ruse, Kiska’s farewell and Babis’ conflicting interests… What’s new? – Kafkadesk

  11. Pingback: Slovakia: Jan Kuciak receives posthumous national journalism award – Kafkadesk

  12. Pingback: Progressive Slovakia elects new party leader – Kafkadesk

  13. Pingback: Slovakia’s opposition parties sign pact of non-aggression ahead of crucial ballot – Kafkadesk

  14. Pingback: Slovakia’s Zuzana Čaputová is most popular foreign politician in the Czech Republic – Kafkadesk

  15. Pingback: Zuzana Čaputová receives European Prize for Political Culture – Kafkadesk

  16. Pingback: Slovakia urged to step up fight against corruption – Kafkadesk

  17. Pingback: Slovak far-right lawmaker expelled for anti-Roma comments – Kafkadesk

  18. Pingback: Slovakia: Bomb alert at Caputova’s house originated from psychiatric patient – Kafkadesk

  19. Pingback: Who are Central Europe’s picks for EU Commissioners? – Kafkadesk

  20. Pingback: Čaputová and Orbán named among most influential people in Europe – Kafkadesk

  21. Pingback: Slovakia’s Caputova is Czech Republic’s most trusted politician – Kafkadesk

  22. Pingback: Zuzana Caputova makes Forbes ‘World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ 2019 list – Kafkadesk

  23. Pingback: Top Google searches in Central Europe in 2019 – Kafkadesk

  24. Pingback: Slovakia: The Resistible Rise of Marian Kotleba – Kafkadesk

  25. Pingback: Rooting out corruption: Slovakia’s new government must fight on multiple fronts – Kafkadesk

Had a good read?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s