AS HE reaches the end of his second (and last) term, President Ivan Gašparovič has reached the nadir of public trust since he took office in 2004, according to a poll carried out by the Focus polling agency on behalf of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) that was released on January 21.

Whereas a total of 69 percent of people trusted President Gašparovič in 2004 and up to 76 percent in 2006, the figure dropped to 48 percent in late 2013.

The poll was carried out in November 2013 on a sample of 1,049 adult respondents, the TASR newswire reported from the poll results.

The president does not have the trust of the majority, as was the case in past years, IVO analyst Oľga Gyárfášová said, as quoted by TASR. Compared to previous years, Gašparovič also fell in the ranking of the most trusted politicians, where he placed ninth.

“The President of the Slovak Republic and his Office are not run based on public polls conducted by a private institution and on an unknown sample of respondents; rather, they’re based on real results in presidential elections,” said the president’s spokesman, Marek Trubač, as quoted by TASR.

He added that Gašparovič, as the first Slovak president ever to be re-elected, managed to add some 150,000 more votes in 2009 than in the 2004 election (when he garnered 1,234,787 votes).

According to the poll, the Roman Catholic Church is trusted by 47 percent of the population, followed by NGOs (46 percent), police (43 percent) and labour unions (39 percent).

On the other hand, political parties (17 percent) and courts (24 percent) earned the lowest level of public trust.

As for the level of trust in individual politicians, Prime Minister and Smer chairman Robert Fico tops the list (22 percent), followed by Interior Minister and Smer vice-chair Robert Kaliňák (10 percent), Most–Híd chair Béla Bugár (8 percent), NOVA leader and Independent MP Daniel Lipšic (8 percent) and OĽaNO MP Igor Matovič (7 percent).

Among the other Top 10 names were that of former prime minister Iveta Radičová, KDH chair Ján Figeľ, KDH caucus chair Pavol Hrušovský, President Ivan Gašparovič and SaS leader Richard Sulík.