BRATISLAVA : Anti-corruption activist tipped for Slovak presidency..........

Slovakia voted on Saturday in an election dominated by calls for change, with an anti-corruption activist likely to be chosen as its female president a year after after a journalist's murder sparked  mass anti-government protests.

An environmental lawyer with no experience in political office, Zuzana Caputova is on course to win the run-off against  ruling party's  candidate and EU energy commissioner Maros Sefcovic.

Two recent opinion polls gave at least  60 percent  of the vote to Caputova, who campaigned on a slogan ''Stand up to evil'' in this central European country of  5.4 million.

She was one of tens of thousands of protesters who rallied after investigative journalist  Jan Kuciak  was  gunned down alongside his fiancee.

He had been preparing to to publish a story on alleged ties between Slovak politicians and the Italian mafia.

The killings forced then prime minister  Robert  Fico to resign but he remains leader of the populist-left Smer-Sd party and is close ally of the current premier.

Five people have been charged in the  Kuciak case, including a millionaire businessman with alleged ties to Smer Sd who is suspected of ordering the murders.

The European Parliament has urged Slovalia to continue investigating. ''including any possible political links to the crimes.'' MEPs voiced ''concern about the allegations of corruption, conflicts of interest, impunity and revolving doors in Slovakia's  circles of power.''

Smer-SD has backed Sefcovic, which may have cost him in the first round when the 52-year-old  took just 19 percent of the vote compared with Caputova's  40 percent.  [AFP]


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