Portuguese Prime Minister Luis Montenegro has barely invested, and is already under pressure

Portuguese Prime Minister Luis Montenegro has barely invested, and is already under pressure

France Press agency

Slovakia: Close presidential elections, with Ukraine in the background

Today, Saturday, Slovak voters cast their votes in the second round of the presidential elections, which have become closer than ever, against the backdrop of the war in neighboring Ukraine. According to the latest opinion polls, the two candidates, pro-Western former diplomat Ivan Korcok, and Peter Pellegrini, close to the skeptical government in Kiev, are competing fiercely to replace liberal Zuzana Caputova. Pellegrini, the 48-year-old speaker of parliament, received 51% of voting intentions, compared to 49% for Mr. Korcok, 60, the former foreign minister, according to the Fox Institute. After voting with his wife, Korcok called on Slovaks to “come and vote,” adding that the elections were “partly about the future of the country. I want to be at the beginning of the process that will improve the country's life.” He announced this from his city of Scenic, in the west of the country, before riding a bike and spending a minute with his family. Pellegrini called for unity, acknowledged that the vote could be “very close” and stressed that the vote “was not about the future direction of foreign policy.” He guaranteed that the country would remain a “strong member” of the European Union and NATO. According to Vaclav Hrisch, Director General of the polling institute AKO, “this is the closest presidential race ever.” The anti-European, pro-Russian Stefan Harabin came in third place in the first round with 12% of the vote, and did not support either candidate. But according to an AKO poll, more than two-thirds of his voters intend to. “The more voters there are, the more likely it is that Peter Pellegrini will win, because that means he has succeeded in convincing voters in Harrabin,” Mr Pellegrini said. Hrić – “Save the government” – “I don’t want Fiko and his friends to occupy everything in Slovakia, that’s why I chose Ivan Korcok. He is a real democratic politician,” Frantisek Hažek, 31, who works in Bratislava, told AFP. As for Helena Vaslavova (67 years old), who is retired, the choice is clear and contradictory: “I know that Peter Pellegrini will only want what is good for this country (…) He will defend us against everything and will be a good president.” The Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine has become a key element of the election campaign in this country with a population of 5 or 4 million people, especially since the populist Prime Minister Robert Fico. An ally of Mr. Pellegrini has questioned Kiev's sovereignty and called for peace with Moscow. Mr. Pellegrini was a minister in Mr. Pellegrini's previous governments and was even replaced by Fico as head of government in 2018. “Running for president is to save the government,” the candidate said during a televised debate with Mr. Korcok. “You want to protect the government,” his rival replied. “I want to protect Slovakia.” The government, made up of Mr. Fico’s Smir party, Mr. Pellegrini’s Halas party, and the small far-right SNS party, has withheld military aid to Ukraine. “I want to Protect Slovakia.’ Korcok is a warmonger and will unhesitatingly support everything the West tells him, including dragging Slovakia into war,” Mr. Fico accused in a video, making clear that he supports peace negotiations. He told AFP that the opposition-backed government is staunchly pro-Ukraine and believes Russia has “trampled international law.” I do not think that Ukraine has to give up part of its territory to achieve peace. The voter from the city of Martin in northern Slovakia chose Mr. Korcuk, a “true pro: pro-democracy, pro-Western, pro-European.” “His values ​​do not change depending on the polls,” this 50-year-old old man told AFP. “This criminal government is leading us towards a pro-Russian autocracy, destroying the judicial system and public finances.” “They really need a counterweight,” he added. Jana Mozolova, a 66-year-old retired teacher from Kosice (east), voted for Pellegrini. “He's been there for years and has never disappointed anyone,” she added. The results are expected around midnight. Although his job is largely ceremonial, the president ratifies international treaties, appoints chief judges and is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He can also veto laws passed by Parliament. The offices will close at 8 p.m. :00 PM GMT. Preliminary results are expected around midnight.juh-sw/bo/ib

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"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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