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Slovakia prepares to elect liberal lawyer as first female president

 Slovakia's presidential candidates Zuzana Caputova and Maros Sefcovic
Slovakia's presidential candidates Zuzana Caputova and Maros Sefcovic Copyright Reuters
Copyright Reuters
By Pascale Davies
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The lawyer and anti-graft campaigner, Zuzana Caputova, is set to win Slovakia's presidential election.

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Slovakia is heading to the polls on Saturday and is set to elect liberal lawyer Zuzana Caputova as president in what could be a drastic shake-up to the wave of populist anti-EU leaders. 

 If Caputova wins the vote, it would make her Slovakia's first female president. 

Her campaign, to rule-out corruption in a country, which she says is run "by people pulling strings from behind", has proved vastly popular. 

She also has the backing of a protest movement which has called for justice and fairness in the wake of the killing of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee in 2018. Kuciak was investigating fraud cases that involved politically connected businessmen.

Read more: Jan Kuciak murder: how has journalist's slaying changed Slovakia?

Political novice Caputova is facing-off with European Union Commissioner Maros Sefcovic, who has more experience in politics than his rival and has the backing of the populist ruling party, SMER.

In the first round of votes two weeks ago, Caputova won the first with 40.5% and Sefcovic trailed behind her with 18.7%.

According to an opinion poll by Median agency, the only survey released between the first and the second round of voting, Capotva has a clear lead with 60.5% against Sefcovic at 39.5%.

Sandwiched between Poland and Hungary, Caputova's potential victory would turn the tide in the rise in Europe's populist leaders. 

As vice-chairwoman of the Progressive Slovakia party, which has no seats in parliament, Caputova supports gay marriage and adoption. She has also campaigned on a platform to fight nationalism and supports EU integration.

Read more: Why Slovakia is poised to elect a government critic, Euronews answers

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