An ally of the pro-Russian prime minister wins the presidential election

An ally of the pro-Russian prime minister wins the presidential election

(Reuters) — Left-wing nationalist Slovak government candidate Peter Pellegrini won the country's presidential election on Saturday, strengthening the party's influence. Pro-Russian Prime Minister Robert Fico About Slovakia.

Pellegrini (48 years old) stressed that his victory means supporting the government’s agenda and rejecting “an opportunistic opposition power center,” referring to outgoing liberal president Zuzana Caputova.

Fico, who began his fourth term last October, has steered Slovak foreign policy toward pro-Russian positions and initiated reforms in criminal law and media regulation, raising concerns about the erosion of the rule of law.

Pellegrini received 53.26% of the votes, while the pro-Western opposition candidate Ivan Korcok received 46.73%, according to the results of 99.66% of the electoral districts.

Although Slovak presidents have limited executive powers, they can veto laws or challenge them before the Constitutional Court. They also appoint judges to the Constitutional Court, which may influence political struggles over Fico's reforms, which aim to reduce penalties for corruption.

Fico's coalition, which includes a party led by Pellegrini, stopped official arms shipments from Slovakia to Ukraine.

Fico criticized what he saw as Western interference in the conflict, and warned of the danger of Slavic nations engaging in hostilities against each other.

Pellegrini described Korcok as a warmonger for supporting arming Ukraine and suggested that Korcok could involve Slovak forces in the conflict in the neighboring country, a claim Korcok refuted.

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