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Zuzana Caputova is leading a field of old-guard pols with less than pristine reputations.8 March 2019
An activist Slovak lawyer with no political experience is well ahead in the polls ahead of the first round of voting on 16 March.
Little known until joining the crowded field of candidates to replace Andrej Kiska, the popular incumbent who chose not to seek re-election, Caputova, 45, is known among fellow lawyers as “Slovakia’s Erin Brockovich” for helping defeat a planned landfill in her hometown, Reuters writes.
Slovak law prohibits the publication of poll results in the last 14 days before an election. Some polls taken before the deadline gave Caputova around 50 percent support, with European Commissioner Maros Sevcovic, the candidate of the ruling Smer-SD party, trailing far behind with 16 percent.
Support for the populist Smer-SD has eroded as a result of scandals, notably the alleged involvement of people close to former premier Robert Fico in organized-crime schemes uncovered by journalist Jan Kuciak, who was shot dead just over a year ago in an apparent contract killing.
“Slovakia shows signs of state capture: power is not carried out by those elected but by those pulling the strings from behind,” Caputova told Reuters.
“We have a problem with corruption, like other European countries, and with making those responsible accountable,” she went on. “But I see hope in people who take action, who protest and call for change.”
The chief editor of the independent news site Dennik N, Matus Kostolny, struggled to explain how the previously unknown Caputova so swiftly captured the public’s imagination. One reason, he told the Czech weekly Respekt, is that she has performed well in public debates, coming across as competent and calm.
Her social media savvy has also helped, together with major support from women, he said.
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Join us to learn more about the connections between investigative reporting and Solutions Journalism and discover the impact that bringing the “whole” story has on communities. Kathryn’s keynote speech will be followed by a panel discussion on bringing the solutions perspective into reporting practices with Nikita Poljakov, deputy editor in chief of the business daily Hospodářské noviny. Nikita is also head of the project “Nejsi sám” (You are not alone), which uses the solutions approach to tackle the issue of male suicide. The main program will be followed by an informal wine reception.
The event will take place on Monday, 25 March at 5 p.m. in the Hollar building of the Charles University Faculty of Social Sciences (Smetanovo nábřeží 6, Praha 1). The event will be in English.
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The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.
This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes.
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