Commentary Poll

Could Slovakia have a female president?

In the latest poll, lawyer and activist Zuzana Caputova has surprisingly overtaken favorite Maros Sefcovic.

It seems like the Slovaks are set to choose between a liberal socialist and socially sensitive liberal president. At the same time, the situation resembles the presidential elections of 2009 when Slovakia had to choose between a male and female president in the second round, in which Ivan Gasparovic faced Ivana Radicova.

Slovaks will also choose between an experienced diplomat who became a Vice-President of the European Commission, who has the support of the government and is still the strongest party, and a lawyer fighting against lawlessness and the arrogance of power, who defends public interest against political and business interests.

So far, the opposition hesitated at supporting a female candidate, as they didn’t want 2009 to be repeated. Just a week ago, the leader of the strongest opposition party called for Caputova to step down from the race in favor of then-second candidate Mistrik. Even though quite the reverse happened and Mistrik gave up, it remains unclear if a female candidate could win.

Yet, the odds are high for Caputova. She is offering justice, which is potentially far more appealing for voters than democracy previously offered by Radicova. Being an advocate of the poor and weak isn’t a liability. All the more so when your opponent is a powerful Commissioner, who might find it hard to prove to voters that he came from nothing. Sefcovic is also clearly the Smer party candidate, and Smer has lost a lot of public support over the last year. Not to mention that Slovakia already selected an amateur over a skilled politician when Kiska defeated Fico.

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