Presidential Election Begins in Slovakia

16. marca 2019 7:00
Bratislava, March 16 (TASR) - The presidential election in Slovakia began at 7 a.m. on Saturday, with polling stations across the country due to be open until 10 a.m. More than 4.45 million people with Slovak citizenship living in the country and abroad are entitled to select one of 13 candidates to occupy the country's top political post for the next five years. A new president will be chosen, as the incumbent Andrej Kiska has decided not to run for re-election. Largely considered to be the holder of a ceremonial post in Slovakia, which has a parliamentary system, the president "represents the country externally and internally", according to the Constitution. The president is also commander-in-chief of the military and ratifies international treaties and appoints ambassadors, generals, judges and professors, for example. At the same time the president has the power to veto laws adopted by Parliament, although these vetoes can be overridden in the House by a simple majority of all lawmakers, including those absent. The list of candidates in alphabetical order includes: Bela Bugar, Zuzana Caputova, Eduard Chmelar, Martin Dano, Stefan Harabin, Marian Kotleba, Milan Krajniak, Frantisek Miklosko, Maros Sefcovic, Robert Svec, Bohumila Tauchmannova, Juraj Zabojnik and Ivan Zuzula. If no bidder receives more than 50 percent of the valid votes on Saturday, a run-off featuring the top two candidates will take place on March 30. Slovakia, which emerged as an independent state in 1993 following the parliament-approved split of Czechoslovakia, has had four presidents since then: Michal Kovac (the only president elected by Parliament), Rudolf Schuster, Ivan Gasparovic (elected for two terms) and Andrej Kiska. The next president should be inaugurated on June 15. bub/df/am
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