The first stage of presidential elections took place in Slovakia on Saturday, 16 March 2019.
The President is the head of state, while the government is run by the Prime Minister who is responsible to parliament (National Council) whose last elections were in 2016. he President has some powers over the c
There is a two-round system in the Presidential election. If no candidate obtains an overall majority (i.e. gets more than half the votes) there is a run-off election between the two leading contenders two weeks after the first round. This would be on 30 March if required in the 2019 elections.
The incumbent President Andrej Kiska is standing down after a single term, having been elected President in March 2014.
The leading candidates are:
Zuzana Čaputova, representing the recently formed (2014) Progressive Slovakia party. She is a lawyer who has campaigned against corruption, which is a powerful issue in Slovakia. Robert Fico, the leading figure in Slovak politics for many years, was forced out of office in 2018 by public anger after the assassination of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak. Charges were recently brought against a businessman alleged to have ordered the murder of Kuciak and his partner.
Maroš Šefčovič is independent but supported by the governing party SMER. He is currently European Union commissioner for energy policy and a career diplomat.
Marian Kotleba is the principal leader of the nationalist right wing in Slovakia, leader of the People’s Party – Our Slovakia and former governor of the Banska Bystrica region.
Štefan Harabin is a supreme court judge and former justice minister who is standing as a populist candidate who favours dropping sanctions against Russia.
There are 10 other candidates contesting the election.
Sources and further reading:
IFES database entry
Playing Politics in Bratislava