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Progressive Slovakia elects new party leader

Bratislava, Slovakia – Progressive Slovakia, the former party of president-elect Zuzana Čaputová, has just elected its new chairman.

Michal Truban, a former anti-corruption activist in the IT sector and vice-president of the movement until now, has been elected as the new leader of Progressive Slovakia (PS), reports local media.

PS is a young, liberal and pro-European grassroots extra-parliamentary party that rose to the front-scene of Slovak politics in recent months after its candidate and vice-president Zuzana Čaputová won the presidential election, becoming the first woman to do so.

The party was founded two years ago by entrepreneur Ivan Štefunko, who announced earlier this year his intention to step down, citing health reasons but amid growing controversy regarding his past business and political dealings.

Michal Truban, who was the only candidate to replace Ivan Štefunko, was elected on May 8 as the party’s new head.

“Progressive Slovakia has never been and will never be a one man’s party”, Michal Truban said after being elected. In his speech, he said Progressive Slovakia wanted to became a constructive political force ahead of the 2020 national elections, and singled out the fight against the rise of extremism as one of the party’s key challenges.

Michal Truban was elected as new chairman of Progressive Slovakia on May 8 / Credit: Dennik N

Openly pro-European, advocating liberal positions on divisive issues like LGBT rights and abortion, and bent on tackling corruption, Progressive Slovakia, which currently holds no seats in the Slovak parliament, has joined forces with the Spolu (Together) movement ahead of this month’s EU elections.

Recent opinions polls credited the liberal grouping with 13-14% of voting intentions, cementing its place as one of the main opposition parties, neck-and-neck with the far-right People’s Party Our Slovakia of Marian Kotleba.

Progressive Slovakia is often compared to ‘En Marche’, the pro-European centrist party founded by French President Emmanuel Macron. According to recent reports, the two parties could unite ahead of this month’s EU elections.

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