Bishops appeal to voters to take part in presidential election

SLOVAK bishops have asked voters to participate in the second round of the presidential election, scheduled for April 17.

According to various analysts, a low voter turnout would be beneficial for Vladimír Mečiar, the three-time PM, because he has the most disciplined electorate.

Higher turnout could increase the chances of Ivan Gašparovič, former member of Mečiar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia.

"The more voters come to the polls, the higher the chances for Gašparovič," analyst Miroslav Švec told the Slovak daily Pravda.

According to analysts, Mečiar is likely to win the presidential race unless voters who ignored the first round of the election on April 3 show up. As many as 52 percent of eligible voters ignored the first round of the election.

Posters stating, "not voting means a vote for Mečiar" have appeared around the country. Mečiar is widely blamed for running Slovakia into international isolation during his 1994 - 1998 cabinet. Gašparovič, however, was Mečiar's peer all through the period.

Compiled by Martina Pisárová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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