Election24: Pellegrini: I Met My Goal to Make it into Run-off Round

Election24: Pellegrini: I Met My Goal to Make it into Run-off Round
Presidential candidate Peter Pellegrini after the release of unofficial first-round results on March 24, 2024, photo by TASR

Bratislava, March 24 (TASR) - Presidential candidate Peter Pellegrini conceded on Sunday that he ended up second in the first round of the 2024 presidential election and congratulated Ivan Korcok on advancing to the run-off round.

Pellegrini added that he has met his primary goal to make it to the run-off round and thanked all Slovak citizens who took part in the election as well as his supporters.

According to Pellegrini, the results hint at quite an exciting run-off round and the fact that he has advanced to it is an enormous success.

In Pellegrini's view, the results have shown that the majority of people in Slovakia don't want to have a "liberal and centre-right and progressive" president. "The majority in Slovakia expressed their wish to have a president who would defend national interests of the Slovak Republic," he claimed.

Pellegrini added that Slovakia needs a president who "won't support war but peace; someone who won't endanger the country's sovereignty but support Slovakia's sovereign stance instead and promote it at international forums".

"The people made it clear that they want to have a president who won't jump instantly into a conflict with the Slovak Government but rather help where help is needed and criticise only where criticism is deserved," he said.

Pellegrini doesn't plan to change the message of his campaign for the run-off round and will focus on talks with the people about Slovakia's interests and the interests of ethnic minorities. "I firmly hope that in the second round, if we join our forces together - all of us who wish to have a sovereign and proud Slovakia - we can win," he said, adding that he plans to reach out to unsuccessful candidates. "I'm certainly capable to offer them a brand of politics that could suit their voters."

Pellegrini expects Prime Minister and Smer-SD chair Robert Fico to join the campaigning on his behalf in the run-up to the second round. The Voice-SD chair declared that he has always vied and will vie for support from SNS chair Andrej Danko and SNS voters as well.

Pellegrini believes there are more votes he can tap into, pointing out that both Stefan Harabin and Krisztian Forro garnered significant support in the first round. "I, for one, think that the second round can be quite interesting."

In case he wins and becomes the president, Pellegrini reiterated that he sees no reason to revisit the coalition agreement. "The balance of power in Parliament hasn't changed and the coalition agreement must reflect the results that each parliamentary party acquired in the general election," he added.