Several key people from NGOs called on Parliamentary Chairman Pavol Paška in an open letter to announce next year's presidential election in the "usual" term, since an earlier date of the election would be more favourable for the incumbent President Ivan Gašparovič, The Fair Play Alliance watchdog announced on December 11.
The letter was signed by Ondrej Dostál, Grigorij Mesežnikov, Alena Pániková, Šarlota Pufflerova, Katarína Vajdová and Zuzana Wienk.
"We were disconcerted by the information in the media indicating that [the government] is considering a considerable change from the usual term of the presidential election (April), moving it to March or even February next year," reads the reaction to information published in the Sme daily on November 28.
The first direct presidential elections in Slovakia took place in May 1999, and, after the five-year term, another was held in 2004. The Presidential Elections Act orders the election to be announced 60 days before the end (June 14, 2009) of the President's term in office at the latest. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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