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Gašparovič beats Mečiar

IVAN Gašparovič was elected the new Slovak president, beating his former party's boss, Vladimír Mečiar from the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), in the second round of the presidential elections on April 17.

Gašparovič gained 59.9 percent of votes in the April 17 election, while Mečiar received just over 40 percent.

Less than half of the country's registered voters took part in the election, as voter turnout reached a mere 43.5 percent.

Gašparovič, the former speaker of parliament, and the current head of the non-parliamentary Movement for a Democracy, will replace the current president, Rudolf Schuster, on June 15.

Mečiar blamed an unspecified "silent agreement" of the ruling coalition that allegedly encouraged voters to participate in the election of having caused his defeat. An even lower voter turnout would, according to observers, have benefited Mečiar. The coalition parties, some of whom appealed on their voters ahead of the second round of the election to not go to the polls, rejected the existence of any such agreements, the Slovak daily Pravda wrote.

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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