Slovakians To Elect Next President In Spring

January 9, 2009 Updated: January 9, 2009

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia—The Slovakian presidential election will be held next spring, according to Parliamentary Chairman Pavol Paska who called the schedule on Jan. 9.  In the first round, set to start Mar. 21, voters will choose one candidate from all registered candidates. If none receives more than half of the total votes from all eligible voters, the two leaders will advance to the second round, set to begin Apr. 4.

Current President Ivan Gasparovic is considered the favorite, and has scored close to 55% support in pre-election surveys. Second place belongs to opposition candidate Iveta Radicova, who the survey said got about 30% of possible voters.

This will be the third time a President is directly elected by the public in Slovakia; the first was elected by the Parliament after the amicable split from then-Czechoslovakia in 1993.

The official election campaign will begin only 15 days before the election, while every candidate is permitted to spend no more than 132,775 euro.

The newly elected president will be inaugurated on June 15 for a five year term.