March 18, 2014, 11:45 a.m.
The first round of voting for the office of the President of Slovakia was held on March 15, 2014. Fourteen candidates participated in the election to replace President Ivan GAŠPAROVIĆ, who was term limited. Robert FICO, who is currently the Prime Minister of Slovakia, received the most votes in the first round of the election, but fell short of the absolute majority required to avoid a run-off. FICO, the candidate for Direction – Social Democracy / Smer – Sociálna Demokracia received 28.01 percent of the vote (531,919 votes) in the first round and will face entrepreneur and independent candidate Andrej KISKA in the second round of the election. In the first round of voting, KISKA received 455,996 votes (24.01 percent). Opposition politicians Radoslav PROCHÁZKA and Milan KŇAŽKO finished third and fourth in the election, with 21.25 percent (455,996 votes) and 12.87 percent (244,401 votes) respectively. Both PROCHÁZKA and KŇAŽKO have urged their supporters to vote for KISKA in the second round of the election. FICO, as Prime Minister has overseen Slovakia’s switch to the Euro in 2009, and has worked to cut the budget deficit to below the European Union’s benchmark for the first time in the country’s history. In the first round, 43.39 percent (1,913,369 Slovaks) of registered voters participated in the election. The second round of voting will take place on March 29, 2014.
Image courtesy of dw.de