Slovaks will be invited to elect a new president on March 23, the speaker of the Parliament of this EU and NATO member country announced today. Peter Pellegrini.

“The presidential election will be held on March 23,” Pellegrini, who is running and leading in the polls, told reporters.

If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held on April 6 in this country of 5.4 million people.

The outgoing president Zuzana Tsaputovaa vocal critic of the ruling three-party coalition, announced in June that she would not seek a second term.

The populist prime minister Robert Fitzoand his Smer-SD party will support Pellegrini, leader of the co-ruling HLAS-SD party.

According to the latest opinion polls, Pellegrini secures 40% of the votes.

Opposition parties argue that a Pellegrini victory would pave the way for possible presidential favors for Smer-SD allies, including a former special prosecutor and a former tax official, who have been convicted of corruption.

The role of the country’s president is largely ceremonial. However, the president ratifies international treaties, appoints senior judges, is head of the armed forces and can veto bills passed in Parliament.

The leader of the nationalist SNS party, a junior government partner, Andrei Dankoas well as the former foreign ministers Ivan Korchok and Jan Kubis they are also considering running for president.

Hungarian minority candidate Christian Foro and former Supreme Court judge Stefan Harabin will also run.