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ELECTIONS: Pre-election polls show Gašparovič and Radičová as strongest candidates

The latest pre-election opinion polls projected Ivan Gašparovič and Iveta Radičová to be the strongest candidates, even though neither of them would win enough votes in the first round to become the head of state, according to the polls released by all-news public television station TA3.

The latest pre-election opinion polls projected Ivan Gašparovič and Iveta Radičová to be the strongest candidates, even though neither of them would win enough votes in the first round to become the head of state, according to the polls released by all-news public television station TA3.

A poll conducted by the Focus polling agency for TA3 suggested that Gašparovič would end the first round with 51.3 percent of the vote, followed by Radičová with 36 percent.

The remaining five candidates were projected to follow after a quite large gap in popularity. Zuzana Martináková was expected to come in third with 5.2 percent and František Mikloško would follow with 4.2 percent. According to the poll, Dagmara Bollová would receive the support of 1.6 percent of the voters, Milan Melník would get 1.2 percent and Milan Sidor would trails with just 0.5 percent.

In the 2004 presidential election, 47.9 percent of the eligible voters cast their ballots in the first round. This was a steep drop in comparison with 1999, when the turnout was 74 percent.

The second round of the presidential elections is scheduled for April 4.

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