Presidential candidates are officially allowed to launch their campaigns on Friday, March 6, the TASR newswire wrote. The campaigning period will last for 13 days and end 48 hours before the start of the election itself on Saturday March 21. The candidates can spend a maximum of €132,775 on their campaigns and each of them should have the same access to the media.
During the 48-hour moratorium before the elections, no information will be allowed to be presented on radio, television or in the press in written, audio, visual or audio-visual form, if it would be to the advantage or disadvantage of the candidates.
The results of public opinion polls cannot be published within three days of the vote, including on election day itself. The moratorium on opinion polls will begin on March 19 at 7:00 and continue until Saturday, March 21 at 22:00. During this period, it is forbidden to canvass voters in buildings where the polls are located or nearby.
If no candidate receives a majority in the first round, a second round is required and this will take place on April 4. The campaign for this part of the elections will begin with the announcement of the results of the first round.
Seven candidates are running in the presidential election. The first to submit the necessary citizen petition sheets was former Communist Party (KSS) MP Dagmar Bollová. She was followed by František Mikloško (a member of the non-parliamentary Conservative Democrats of Slovakia/KDS). Incumbent President Ivan Gašparovič collected both the necessary signatures and was backed by 40 MPs from Smer-SD and the Slovak National Party (SNS). He was followed by LS-HZDS nominee Milan Melník, Free Forum (SF) chair Zuzana Martináková, and Communist Party member Milan Sidor.
The last candidate to submit petition sheets was the joint candidate of the three parliamentary opposition parties, Iveta Radičová. She was also supported by 15 Members of Parliament, five from each opposition party. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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