Around 4.4 million Slovaks are going to the polls today to elect a new president.

Polling stations opened today at 07:00 am local time (08:00 Greek time) and are expected to remain open until 22:00 at night (23:00 Greek time). No exit-poll is foreseen, while the results are expected to be known by Sunday afternoon.

If, as it appears, none of the candidates gathers more than 50% of the vote, a second round of presidential elections will be held on April 6.

Among the 9 candidates for the elections there is no woman.

Outgoing president Zuzana Kaputova did not run for a second five-year term despite still being widely popular.

According to the polls, two candidates are clearly the favorites of this electoral process. Ivan Korčok, a former foreign minister, promises to provide a counterweight to the government of current Prime Minister Robert Fičo, and Parliament Speaker Peter Pellegrini, who is calling on Slovaks to overcome the political division that is paralyzing the country. He states that he wants to maintain a good relationship with the government, as well as with the opposition.

Pellegrini is credited in the polls with 37% of the vote intentionwhile Korchok follows closely with 36% sqof voting intention.

Slovakia’s politicians and society are deeply divided, and the atmosphere between the government and the opposition is poisoned by bitter accusations.

There is intense debate in the country regarding its stance on the war in Ukraine, but also on the rule of law and democracy. Slovakia has been facing repeated mass protests against the government.

Pellegrini has the support of Prime Minister Fico’s government, which refuses to provide military aid to Ukraine, has challenged the country’s sovereignty and called for peace with Russia.

Korchok, on the other hand, defends the struggle of Ukraine. She has similar views to outgoing President Kaputova, who has been fiercely critical of the government.

Although he has a mostly ceremonial role, Slovakia’s president ratifies international treaties, appoints the main judges and heads the country’s armed forces.