Zuzana Caputova leads in Slovakia's presidential polls

EPA-EFE  JAKUB GAVLAK

EPA-EFE JAKUB GAVLAK

Slovakia's presidential candidate Zuzana Caputova speaks after the first unofficial results at a party election headquarters in Bratislava, Slovakia, March 16, 2019.

The leading contenders are Zuzana Caputova, an environmental activist in favour of gay rights and who opposes a ban on abortion in the conservative Roman Catholic country, and Maros Sefcovic, who is a European Commission vice-president.

The voters have had enough of the Smer party and just a year ago mass protests broke out after a journalist was assassinated.

The pair will now contest a second-round run-off on 30 March.

Turnout was just under 50%.

"I see a strong call for change in this election following the tragic events last spring and a very strong public reaction", Čaputová said on Saturday.

McIlroy eagles 16, birdies 17 to tie Players lead
Fleetwood had only one birdie on the slightly easier back nine, and finished with birdie putts from 15 feet, 30 feet and 18 feet. I would love to win more. "Every time I stepped up, I felt like I was going to hit a good shot". "So it was one of those days".

Caputova, a lawyer from Pezinok in western Slovakia, serves as Deputy Chairperson of non-parliamentary party Progressive Slovakia.

The protests prompted Prime Minister Robert Fico to resign.

Four others were charged by investigators a year ago.

Ms Caputova was backed in her campaign by outgoing President Andrej Kiska, who did not seek a second term in office.

The Slovak presidency is a largely ceremonial office, but the president has limited powers of veto over laws passed by parliament.

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