Slovak Erin Brockovich poised to become president

Progressive Zuzana Čaputová leads in the polls ahead of the presidential elections in Slovakia. The environmental activist and lawyer could become the first female Slovak president.

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Slovak Erin Brockovich poised to become president - NewsMavens
Zuzana Čaputová, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

The last results before the two-week pre-election moratorium on polls give Čaputová approximately 50 percent in the first round, and show that she would be a clear winner against every other candidate in the second round.

Even experienced political analysists were taken aback by Čaputová's meteoric rise in popularity. The lawyer was virtually unknown until last year, when she decided to get into politics.

Čaputová's earlier work as an environmental activist and prompted Slovaks to nickname her"Erin Brockovich". She fought illegal waste dumping in her hometown for 14 years and eventually succeeded and received a Goldman prize -- often called the environmental Nobel -- for her efforts.

Čaputová is also a divorced mother, a fact that was often brought up by conservative voters and conspiracy media.

"I experienced various attacks implying that a woman living without a partner is less valuable. But there are many strong and independent [single] women, and men as well," she commented.

For many Slovaks, Zuzana Čaputová represents a clean slate -- a politician with no accusations of corruption against her. And this is exactly what the country needs after a year of mass protests against the ruling party.

Details from the story:

  • Zuzana Čaputová is one of the leaders of the newly formed liberal and pro-EU political party Progresívne Slovensko (Progressive Slovakia). 
  • She is the only candidate who openly talks about women's rights, LGBT rights and about the urgency to focus on green politics.
  • Out of the 15 candidates running in the presidential elections, two are women.
  • The first round of elections will take place on March 16, 2019.
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