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Gašparovič likely to run for re-election as independent candidate

President Ivan Gašparovič told the state-run TASR newswire on May 5 that his run for re-election next year will likely be as an independent candidate.

President Ivan Gašparovič told the state-run TASR newswire on May 5 that his run for re-election next year will likely be as an independent candidate.

"If I run - and most probably I will - then it will be firstly with the support of the public and if some political parties offer to help me, I'll take it," Gašparovič said.

The support he has already received bodes well for him gathering the required 15,000 signatures to run independently.

"Probably the petition drive has already started already," he said, adding that four years ago he received more than 30,000 signatures and only then received the support of Smer-SD.

The only other presidential candidate to officially announce their bid is SDKÚ-DS vice-chairwoman Iveta Radičová, who is supported by the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) and the Christian Democrats (KDH). Vladimír Mečiar's HZDS-ĽS party hasn't put forward a candidate yet.

According to HZDS-ĽS vice-chairman Milan Urbáni, the party is trying to persuade Mečiar to make a third bid for the presidency. In 1999 and 2004, Mečiar lost in the second round of voting to Rudolf Schuster and Ivan Gašparovič, respectively. TASR

b>Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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