NEWS BRIEFS

March poll shows Schuster leading in presidential race

The latest opinion poll conducted on political preferences in direct presidential elections in Slovakia suggests that the joint candidate of the governing coalition, Košice mayor Rudolf Schuster, would win the presidential race with 29% backing.

The Focus agency asked 1,096 people between March 3 and 10 to choose between a potential field of six candidates.

Independent Magda Vášáryová, chairwoman of the Slovak Society for Foreign Policy and a former actress, followed Schuster with 19% support. Opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) and one-time Speaker of Parliament Ivan Gašpárovič earned 18%.

Former Slovak President Michal Kováč placed fourth, garnering 8%, while independent candidate Juraj Švec (SDK), was supported by 3% of those polled. Little-known philosopher Boris Zala earned 1%.

Seven percent of the respondents wrote in names of other candidates. Nine percent said they were still undecided and six percent said they planned not to vote.

The day of the first round of direct presidential elections in Slovakia will be May 15. April 9 is the deadline for submitting candidacies, and the election campaign will begin on April 30.

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