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Peter Pellegrini to become next Slovakian president

Slovakians vote in second presidential round
Slovakians vote in second presidential round Copyright Denes Erdos/AP
Copyright Denes Erdos/AP
By Euronews with AP
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Peter Pellegrini is to become the next president of Slovakia amid divide in support for Ukraine war.

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Ally of populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, Peter Pellegrini, has won the presidential election in Slovakia. He received about 54% of votes with nearly all polling stations counted, after the second round this weekend. 

Pellegrini promised to provide the people of Slovakia with a "better, safer and better quality of life." He emphasised his intention "to remain on the side of peace," referring to one of the key issues during the campaign - support for Ukraine. 

His losing opponent, Ivan Korčok has congratulated Pellegrini, but warned him, saying "I will not forget the fact that the campaign was won by turning me into a candidate of war" - as Korčok strongly favoured continued aid to Ukraine.

Pellegrini is a close ally of the Prime Minister Robert Fico, and experts warned that Pellegrini's victory will strengthen the populist course of the country. Fico, who joined Pellegrini's celebration party, seized the opportunity to claim that "people in Slovakia have shown that they recognise what is threatening this country from the liberal media, activists, NGOs, and progressivists".

The President of Slovakia has limited power, as the country is a parliamentary republic. Nevertheless, the president ratifies international treaties, appoints supreme judges, is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and can veto laws passed by parliament.

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