In Europe’s Nationalist Hotbed, Slovakia Takes Liberal Turn
Slovakia elected its first female president, a liberal and pro-European anticorruption candidate whose rise is seen as a rebuke of the conservative nationalism remaking its larger neighbors.
Though the role of president in Slovakia is constitutionally limited, the victory of Zuzana Caputova was seen as a striking, if isolated political shift for Central and Eastern Europe, a region of former Communist countries that has been ground zero for a new nationalism spreading on the continent.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Poland’s Law and Justice party have each managed to win sweeping majorities in their respective parliaments by promising to keep out Muslim immigrants and entrench Christian conservatism at home. A half dozen candidates made the same pledge during Slovakia’s first-round election, including Ms. Caputova’s chief rival.