The 45-year-old lawyer and political novice, won 58 percent of the vote in runoff election on 30thof March. The liberal candidate was running against European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, who got 42 percent of the vote. She became the most prominent representative of progressive politics in the region. With electing her, despite having almost no political experience, the Slovaks made it clear they want fundamental change. As she promised in her campaign she will “Stand up to evil” and fight for the important values of “humanism, solidarity and truth”.
She was not active in politics before. What made her famous in Slovakia was an over a decade long campaign against a toxic waste dump in her home town Pezinok, which made her won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2016. That is when she got known as the “Erin Brokovich of Slovakia”. Her activism also took her to the streets as part of the wave of protests against the 2018 murders of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. This certain event, as she said, made her decide to run at the presidential elections.
Čaputova is an anti-corruption campaigner and the key to her success and popularity, that was gained in just a few months, lies in her focus on a struggle for justice. Her liberal values include favouring same-sex unions, more liberal abortion legislation, her fight against corruption among officials, and her fight for changing the Slovakia to a more liberal and moral society. Her won is a sign of the dissatisfaction among the Slovaks with the status quo in the county, and a prove that they want change.
She won with a positive campaign based on progressive political values and reform, and proved that it is possible to win in a decent, fair and justice way, without attacking the opponents. She gave the people of Slovakia hope for a new, better, more liberal future.
She will take the presidential office in June. The presidential role in Slovakia is mostly ceremonial, but Čeputova will have important blocking power, she will be the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and will have power to appoint top judges.
Čaputova was born in a working-class family in the town of Pezinok. She is a divorced mother of two daughters and is familiar for her 14 years long struggle against a wealthy land developer who planned a toxic landfill in her hometown. With protest, filing lawsuits and writing petitions to the European Union, the campaign finally won and earned her a prestigious Goldman Environmental prize in 2016.
Čaputova’s liberal values also include favouring same-sex unions, free choice for abortion, she will fight against corruption among officials, and she will fight for change since the dissatisfaction among the Slovaks with the status quo in the county has grown up to its limits.