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Smer support at record 47.7 percent

AS MANY as 47.7 percent of citizens support PM Robert Fico's Smer party, according to the latest Statistics Office's poll. This is an increase of 5.3 percent since December 2006.

The ruling Slovak National Party placed second with 11.8 percent while the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union led by former Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda garnered 10.7 percent.

The ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia ranked fourth with 9.6 percent support and the opposition Hungarian Coalition Party came next with 9.1 percent. The opposition Christian Democratic Movement placed sixth with 7.3 percent.

A total of 27.5 percent of those polled said they did not support any political party.

Political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov warned, however, that a poll reporting support of political parties does not automatically indicate real voter support.

According to the Statistical Office's Jozef Švec the growth of backing for the ruling Smer party, which has increased 12 percent over the last six months, can be attributed to the proclaimed "policy for the people" being promoted by Smer. The party's growth in approval can be attributed to recent popular measures such as the extra payment to Slovak pensioners given at the end of last year, increased financial support from the state for first-born children, and the maintenance or partial decrease of energy prices, the Sme daily wrote.

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