Slovak PM still leading polls ahead of March presidential elections but runner-up candidate catches up.

By bne IntelliNews February 19, 2014

Slovakia’s Prime Minister and leader of the social democratic SMER-SD party, Robert Fico, is still leading opinion polls less than a month ahead of the March 15 presidential elections but runner up candidate Andrej Kiska is catching up, SME daily reported. 

The latest poll by Focus showed Fico enjoying the support of 37% of the voters, slightly down from 38% in an earlier poll announced on Feb 11. Entrepreneur Andrej Kiska ranks second boosting his backing to 20.4% from 17.9%.

Thus most likely Fico will meet Kiska in a runoff scheduled for March 29. The Feb 11 poll by Focus showed that if Fico meets Kiska in the second round he would lose to the entrepreneur, who is seen winning 53.7% of the votes in the runoff.

Focus' latest poll also showed actor Milan Knazko, one of the leaders of the Velvet Revolution in 1989, would rank third in the elections gaining 12.9% of the votes (up from 9.5% in the previous poll). Constitutional lawyer and current independent member of parliament Radoslav Prochazka follows with a 10.3% backing (10.8% in the previous poll) ahead of Pavol Hrusovsky, the caucus head of the Christian Democrats (KDH), who would gain 7.3% of the votes (9.3% in the previous poll).

Fifteen candidates have registered to participate in the presidential elections. This is the highest number of candidates to run for president in Slovakia.

If none of the candidates receives an absolute majority of valid votes in the first round, a second round will be held two weeks later. The second consecutive five-year term of current president Ivan Gasparovic expires on June 15, 2014 and by then a new president should be inaugurated. The Slovak president is elected for five years and can be re-elected once.


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