Pellegrini wins Slovakia presidential election, Korcok concedes defeat

Supporters of Slovakia's presidential candidate Peter Pellegrini react to preliminary results of the country's presidential election, at his headquarters in Bratislava, Slovakia, April 6, 2024. (Photo/Reuters)

Slovak opposition candidate Ivan Korcok has conceded defeat in the country's presidential election and has congratulated candidate Peter Pellegrini on his victory in a speech at his campaign headquarters, which was shown live on television.

"I'm disappointed," Korcok said.

Former Prime Minister Pellegrini had 54 percent of the vote, while the liberal Korcok had 46 percent with the ballots from over 98 percent, according to the Slovak Statistics Office on Saturday.

Pellegrini became Slovakia's sixth president since the country gained

independence after the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

Divisions over the Ukraine war dominated the run-off vote for Slovakia's new president with the race between a government ally and a critic with starkly differing views of Russia's aggression on the neighbouring country.

Russia's offensive in Ukraine became a fixture of the electoral campaign in the country of 5.4 million people after populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, Pellegrini's ally, questioned Ukraine's sovereignty and called for peace with Russia.

Fico consolidates power with Pellegrini's victory

Pellegrini’s victory cemented Fico’s grip on power by giving him and his allies control of major strategic posts.

The president of the nation picks the prime minister after parliamentary elections, swears in the new government and appoints Constitutional Court judges.

The president can also veto laws, though Parliament can override the veto with a simple majority, and challenge them at the Constitutional Court.

The head of state also has the right to pardon convicts.

The government, led by the prime minister, possesses most executive powers.

Fico’s leftist Smer (Direction) party won the September 30 parliamentary elections on a pro-Russian and anti-American platform.

Pellegrini, 48, who favours a strong role for the state, heads the left-wing Hlas (Voice) party that finished third in the vote and joined a governing coalition with Fico and the ultranationalist Slovak National Party.


Source: TRT