The course of Slovakia’s second round of presidential elections held on April 4 was smooth with no major disturbances reported to the Central Election Commission. Polling stations closed all around Slovakia at 22:00 when the vote count was started. The commission suggested, according to the SITA newswire, that the turnout might be higher than in the first round held two weeks ago when seven candidates were on the ballot.
Incumbent Ivan Gašparovič and challenger Iveta Radičová clashed head-to-head in the second round of the elections. Gašparovič - backed by the ruling coalition’s largest party, Smer, and its junior partner, the Slovak National Party (SNS) - won the first round with 46.70 percent of the votes. Radičová, the joint candidate of the three main parliamentary opposition parties, trailed him by a smaller-than-expected 8.56-percent margin, at 38.05 percent.
Voter turnout in the first round was 43.63 percent. There were 4,339,331 eligible voters registered and 1,875,629 valid votes were cast. Gašparovič collected 876,061 votes, with 713,735 going to Radičová.
Gašparovič won the first-round race in five of Slovakia’s eight regions: Banská Bystrica, Košice, Prešov, Trenčín and Žilina. Radičová had the most votes in the remaining three: Bratislava, Trnava and Nitra.