Key Takeaways From Slovakia's Presidential Elections
Social Democratic Ex-PM Beats Liberal Challenger in Presidential Election Run-Off

April 8, 2024
Centre-left ex-Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, the leader of the social democratic Hlas-SD party, has beaten his centre-right challenger Ivan Korčok in the second round of Slovakia’s Presidential elections, held on 6 April.

Having won the most closely contested run-off vote in Slovak election history, Pellegrini – also supported by the senior coalition Smer-SD party of Prime Minister Robert Fico – secured 53.1% of the vote against 46.9% for the pro-EU ex-Foreign Minister Korčok. The former PM also benefitted from his high approval rating, general appeal to different voting groups and PM Fico’s Russia-leaning rhetoric.

With Pellegrini set to be inaugurated as President on 15th June, his upcoming Presidency is poised to influence the Fico Government’s policy priorities along areas such as socio-economic reforms. It will also likely mean an uninterrupted legislative process for Fico’s governing coalition, in contrast to the current tension with outgoing President Zuzana Čaputová. Accordingly, Fico’s Smer is considered the ultimate winner of last Saturday’s elections.

Pellegrini’s victory will also be followed by a leadership contest in his centre-left Hlas party and a parliamentary vote on the next Speaker of the National Council. While Aretera assumes that the three-party coalition between the Fico Government will remain stable, the junior coalition Slovak National Party (SNS) will likely use the election’s outcome to strengthen its positions within the ruling bloc.
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