Possible Scenarios For Slovakia's Presidential Elections
Presidential Race to Come Down to Clash Between Social Democratic Ex-PM and Former Centre-Right FM

March 19, 2024
Central & Eastern Europe’s crowded 2024 election season will kick off later this week in Slovakia, where voters will head to the polls on 23 March to elect the country’s next head of state, to succeed outgoing President Zuzana Čaputová. Although the election campaign features eleven different candidates, it seems poised to come down to a clash between the two frontrunners: centre-left ex-PM and current Speaker of Parliament Peter Pellegrini and former centre-right Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok.

Recent polls suggest Pellegrini is the favourite to win the first round but unlikely to secure more than half of the popular vote, meaning a run-off vote to be held on 6 April. Given the tight race between the two frontrunners, both Pellegrini and Korčok have a good chance of becoming President, but much will depend on potential endorsements from rival candidates.

A Pellegrini Presidency would most likely mean an uninterrupted legislative process for Prime Minister Robert Fico’s coalition government. By contrast, a win for his centre-right challenger will likely see clashes between the Cabinet and the Presidential office, similar to the testing relationship that exists between Fico’s cabinet and President Čaputová.
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Jozef Hrabina, Country Director for Slovakia at j.hrabina@areterapa.com