Rudolf Schuster, Independent
President Rudolf Schuster's five-year term in office will end in spring 2004 and although the head of state has not yet confirmed his candidacy, Schuster is among several Slovak personalities expected to run for the post.
Two candidates have so far confirmed that they will stand in the elections - Christian Democrat (KDH) MP František Mikloško and Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan, with the latter leading recent opinion polls (see interview with Kukan, below).
Eduard Kukan, SDKÚ
According to the most recent survey published on July 1, MVK polling agency found that Kukan was favoured as future president by 20.6 percent of respondents, followed by opposition politician and three-time former prime minister Vladimír Mečiar, who scored 15.8 percent in the poll. Despite relatively high support, Mečiar refuses to confirm or reject his candidacy.
František Mikloško, KDH
Analysts think Mečiar's controversial political past will complicate his bid. According to Darina Malová, an analyst with Bratislava's Comenius University, despite having a stable supporter group at home, Mečiar remains "a controversial figure who represents policies that are not accepted in the EU and the world".
Mečiar has been widely blamed for pushing Slovakia into international isolation under his last 1994 to 1998 cabinet.
Vladimír Mečiar, HZDS
In the last five years, the HZDS has plummeted from nearly 30 percent support to its current 14.5 percent.
Other candidates, including KDH's favorite Mikloško, have not commented on their strategies for the presidential elections. Neither Mikloško nor Mečiar responded to questions from The Slovak Spectator regarding their candidacies.
Former finance minister Brigita Schmögnerová as well as former Slovak ambassador to the US Martin Bútora might run for the post, too.
Martin Bútora, Independent
Neither of them has ruled out the possibility.
On July 7, Bútora told The Slovak Spectator: "I am considering the candidacy because I believe that in this post I would be able to achieve a lot for the country."
But before confirming his candidacy, Bútora wants to tour the country to see how people would react to his ambitions. According to Bútora, Slovakia needs a president who can lead the state in "good times and in bad". This should be someone of international prestige and achievement, and one who has "a dream about Slovakia and an ability to make this vision come true", Bútora said.
Caption: While Kukan is running alone for now, other prominent Slovak political leaders, including those pictured here, are expected to join the race. Presidential elections in Slovakia will be held in 2004.
14. Jul 2003 at 0:00 | Martina Pisárová