Slovaks return to polls to elect a President


Slovakians go to the polls for the second time today to elect their new President.

In the first round on 15th March the incumbent Prime Minister Robert Fico of the governing Direction – Social Democracy (Smer) took 28% of the vote whilst political newcomer and businessman Andrej Kiska, standing as an Independent, took 24% of the vote.

Fico has made it clear that if he is elected then the presidency will become much more important despite its current largely ceremonial role. His comments have smacked of the Putin/Medvedev switch in roles where Putin was Prime Minister for one term but still controlled the government.

This has put off many voters and although there have been no opinion polls in the intervening period there are indications that Andrej Kiska might benefit from the dislike of a totally dominant Smer at every level of government.

Turnout on 15th March was 43.4% amongst the 1,899,332 eligible voters. Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time.

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