Home Europe Slovakia Elects A New Pro-Russian President

Slovakia Elects A New Pro-Russian President

Peter Pellegrini
Slovakia's new PM Peter Pellegrini (Photo: Reuters/Vincent Kessler)

Voters in Slovakia have chosen Peter Pellegrini as the new president. He secured the win against pro-West career diplomat Ivan Korcok in a runoff election held on Saturday. Pellegrini won 53% of the vote, while Korčok received 47%.

Pellegrini, a former prime minister, is an ally of current PM Robert Fico, and shares the government’s soft attitude towards Russia.

The win gives prime minister Robert Fico’s ruling coalition total control over the executive and legislative branches of government.
In Slovakia, the president has limited powers that include appointing ambassadors, returning legislation to parliament and issuing amnesties.

Fico called the outcome an “overwhelming victory” and a “big win for the people” of Slovakia.

Korcok accepted the defeat by saying, “I’m disappointed and bummed out, to be honest, but as a sportsman I have to respect the result.”
Korčok served as Slovakia’s foreign minister as well as its permanent representative to the EU. The opposition-backed Korčok said that he supported Kyiv in its war against invading Russian forces because “Ukraine’s security increases our own security … It’s clear that if Ukraine loses the war, it brings war that much closer to our own border.”

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Prior to Fico coming to power, Slovakia had been one of Ukraine’s staunchest critics and came to power on the pledge to halt supplies of Slovak army military stocks to Kyiv.

Fico has time and again called for an end to Western military support for Ukraine, an immediate ceasefire, and peace talks with Moscow. He said recently President Vladimir Putin had been “unfairly demonised” and argued admitting Ukraine to Nato would mark the beginning of a third world war and have an impact in the region.

Pellegrini’s campaign echoed Korčok of being a warmonger who would send Slovak soldiers to fight in Ukraine – a constitutional power the president does not have.

With inputs from Reuters