NEWS BRIEFS

Fifth presidential hopeful announces his candidacy

A former university professor of political economy who works as a "dissident doorman" announced himself as the fifth candidate for the Slovak presidency last week.

At his introductory press conference Zoltán Adorján, 57, presented himself as the "first presidential candidate for the neutral Slovakia." Against forming external alliances such as NATO, he said he wants to contibute to the country's success through securing low interest loans and "fortifying" Slovakia's statehood and neutrality.

Adorján, who works as a porter at Comenius University where he has taught political and economic theory since 1989, said his current job is a "silent protest" against the liquidation of modern Marxism departments at Western universities. He decided to run for the president on the basis of his long-term affiliation with the Party of Slovak Workers, the International Slavic Committee and the League of Slavic and Allied Nations.

Adorján said expenses of his presidential campaign would be well under 500,000 Sk. He appealed on his counter-candidates to keep their campaign expenditures low.

Among the other candidates, a February poll showed that Rudolf Schuster, mayor of Košice and the candidate of the ruling parlimentary coalition, would win most votes if the direct presidential elections were held in Slovakia now. Former actress Magda Vášáryová would place second with 10 percent, followed by former president Michal Kováč with and SDK deputy and fomer chancellor of Comenius University Juraj Švec.

The election will likely take place in early May.

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