Slovakia: The second round of voting in the Slovak presidential election has concluded. History has been made as a woman has been elected to the office for the first time. The result can also be noted as a continuing trend of political outsiders finding success around the world.

It perhaps should not be surprising that the people of Slovakia have chosen to go in a new political direction. The country's politics have been plagued by scandal and corruption. A tragic turn of events that shook the nation may have been what led to such a change.

Zuzana Caputova geta elected

Former environmentalist, Zuzana Caputova has emerged victorious in the final round of voting. Caputova received notoriety in Slovakia for successfully stopping the creation of a controversial landfill in her hometown. Some have compared her to the famed American lawyer Erin Brockovich, as CNBC reports. Not surprisingly, Caputova's campaign focused on issues such as the environment.

She also touted her reliance on traditional Christian values to the immensely Roman Catholic electorate.

The first round of voting featured 15 candidates. Caputova finished in first place, but she did not reach an outright majority of votes cast. As such, a run-off between herself and the second-highest recipients of votes went ahead.

Maros Sefcovic was the other candidate to advance to the second round.

Sefcovic is a long-time member of the European Commission. Though Sefcovic officially ran as an Independent, he received the backing the left-wing party Smer. He has also historically been linked with communism.

A 2018 tragedy likely changed the trajectory of the election

Jan Kuciak was an investigative journalist in Slovakia. He had been investigating corruption among the country's top politicians, including connections to organized crime.

In 2018, he and his fiancee, Martina Kušnírová, were murdered.

Shock and outrage spread throughout the country. The widespread belief has been that the murders were connected to Kuciak's investigations. Protests quickly erupted against Prime Minister Robert Fico and his Cabinet. Tensions were further inflamed by a televised address by incumbent President Andrej Kiska, an Independent. Kiska called for a new parliamentary election or for drastic changes to be made to the Cabinet.

In turn, Fico accused Kiska conspiring to plan a coup d'etat.

Ultimately, the pressure became too much for Fico. He and his entire Cabinet would resign and Peter Pellegrini became the new prime minister.

Though Kiska was largely supported by the Slovak public, he chose not to run for re-election afterward. Polls indicated that he would've won, but he indicated that a fresh start might be best. This would clear the path for Caputova's meteoric rise.

According to NPR, she immediately visited a memorial for Kuciak and Kusnirova after learning of her victory.

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