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Ivan Gašparovič has enough signatures to run for president again

The petition committee of the civil initiative Our President has collected the required minimum of 15,000 signatures needed to endorse the candidacy of Ivan Gašparovič for next year's presidential elections.

The petition committee of the civil initiative Our President has collected the required minimum of 15,000 signatures needed to endorse the candidacy of Ivan Gašparovič for next year's presidential elections.

The petition committee said it had the required number of signatures as of September 20. The chairperson of the committee, Adrian Kromka, told a news conference on Wednesday that it wanted to continue the petition for as long as people felt like expressing their support for the president with their signatures.

The non-parliamentary party the Movement for Democracy (HZD), which Gašparovič established, also helped collect the signatures. Until the parliamentary elections in 2002, Gašparovič was the second-most prominent member of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). Shortly before the elections, however, Gašparovič was unexpectedly omitted from the party's candidate list. In reaction, he established his own party, the HZD. The HZDS then lost an important part of its voter base in the elections and was unable to form a government. It spent the following election term in opposition.

One other presidential candidate, Iveta Radičova (of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union), has also collected the required number of signatures to stand for president. Other proposed candidates Ivan Šimko and Dagmar Bollová have announced the start of their drive to collect signatures. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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