The first round of presidential elections in Slovakia ended on Saturday. Around 4.4 million eligible voters were asked to choose a successor to President Zuzana Caputova from nine exclusively male candidates. Caputova did not compete again. The EU and NATO country Slovakia borders directly on Ukraine.

According to surveys, the clear favorites are the Social Democratic Parliament Speaker Peter Pellegrini, who belongs to the government camp, and the former foreign minister and diplomat Ivan Korcok, who is supported by the liberal opposition. They are expected to compete against each other in a runoff election on April 6th.

Intermediate standings: Korcok ahead of Pellegrini

Korcok won the first round of the presidential election in Slovakia. This emerges from the results published by the State Election Commission after counting 99.9 percent of the electoral districts.

Korcok promises to be a counterweight to the left-wing nationalist government under Prime Minister Robert Fico. He advocates decisive military support for Ukraine. Pellegrini advocates overcoming the deep domestic political divide and urges caution when it comes to arms deliveries.

Partial results of the vote counting will be published throughout the night. The official final result should be known by noon today at the latest.

Pellegrini and Korcok in presidential runoff

Peter Pellegrini and Ivan Korcok are expected to contest the runoff election for the Slovak presidency. This emerged from preliminary partial results that the State Election Commission published after three quarters of the votes had been counted. With less than 40 percent of the vote, Pellegrini was just ahead of Korcok with over 38 percent. According to these preliminary results, voter turnout reached around 50 percent.