Prime Minister’s allies on track to victory in Slovak presidential election

(Bloomberg) — An ally of the Slovak prime minister Robert Fico is on track to win the country’s presidential election, which will help strengthen the prime minister’s grip on power.

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Peter PellegriniIvan Korcok, a former prime minister and member of Fico’s ruling party, won 55.9% of the votes, according to an 88% result released by the Statistics Office on Saturday, with Ivan Korcok, a diplomat who has criticized the prime minister’s policies, receiving 55.9% of the votes. He secured 44.1%. Two of Slovakia’s leading newspapers have called a race for Pellegrini.

A presidential victory would ease Fico’s path to approval of legislation and the appointment of key civil servants. Since returning to power last year, Slovakia’s prime minister has curbed the fight against corruption, suppressed independent media and challenged the public’s decision to oppose EU and NATO allies over military aid to Ukraine. It has sparked criticism and intense scrutiny from the European Union.

As president of parliament, Mr. Pellegrini played a key role in promoting judicial reform. During his campaign, Mr. Pellegrini accused Mr. Korcok, who advocated for Kiev, of trying to drag the country into war.

Zuzana Caputova, the incumbent and figurehead of Slovakia’s anti-corruption movement, moved to block some of Fico’s more controversial proposals. She submitted a controversial criminal law review to the country’s highest court in February, but no ruling has yet been issued.

Pellegrini replaced Fico as prime minister in 2018, when the Slovak leader was forced to resign amid mass protests after the killing of a journalist investigating corruption in the EU member state. Ta.

Amid public outrage, Mr. Pellegrini left Mr. Fico’s Smer party and led his own group, known as Voice, in last year’s parliamentary elections. He joined Fico’s coalition government in October, three months after telling Bloomberg he could not imagine “sitting in the same government” as the Smail leader. He campaigned on more pro-EU policies, including supporting military aid to Ukraine. However, after Fico’s victory, he relinquished those positions.

Pellegrini began his political career in 2002 as an assistant to Congressman Smale. He was elected to the National Assembly in his 2006 year and his rise in the political world has been remarkable since then. He has served as Deputy Minister of Finance, Minister of Education, Speaker of Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister for Investment, and Prime Minister.

His trajectory, marked by nearly 20 years of unwavering loyalty to Robert Fico and the Sumer party, earned him the nickname “Yes Man” among critics.

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