Zuzana Čaputová will face Maroš Šefčovič in the second round
Zuzana Čaputová will face Maroš Šefčovič in the second round of the presidential election on March 30, voters decided in Saturday’s first round, with a turnout of 49%:
Zuzana Čaputová 40.6%
Maroš Šefčovič 18.7%
Štefan Harabin 14.4%
Marian Kotleba 10.4%
František Mikloško 5.7%
Béla Bugár 3.1%
It is a positive news that, with much of Central Europe embracing irascible nationalists and populists, two decent and pro-EU candidates made it to the run-off. On a less positive note, candidates linked to corruption (Smer), mafia influence over the judiciary (Harabin), and Nazism (Kotleba) received 44% of the vote.
Čaputová will receive 64% of the vote in the second round, according to a Focus agency poll from March 15, which quite accurately predicted the first round’s outcome. A small share of Harabin’s and Kotleba’s supporters will vote for her, as will half of Mikloško’s. A much higher share of Harabin’s and Kotleba’s supporters will vote for Šefčovič.
Šefčovič, who just recently as a Brussels bureaucrat held liberal views on issues such as LGBTI and migration, has turned into conservative who says the second round will be a referendum on Čaputová’s “super-liberal agenda”. He is unsuccessfully trying to distance himself from Smer, which nominated him and is paying for his campaign. Čaputová is funding her campaign with small donations from supporters and says that her liberal opinions won’t influence her presidential agenda.