Months after the ruling Smer party introduced most of its candidates for the posts of presidents of Slovakia's regional governments, on April 4 it announced its Bratislava candidate: MEP and Smer party co-founder Monika Flašíková-Beňová.
Flašíková-Beňová had said in October 2012 she was not considering running, but now she will challenge the current regional president, Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) chairman Pavol Frešo. Smer kept the decision secret until April 4, the Sme daily reported on April 5.
Prime Minister and Smer chairman Robert Fico opined that Flašíková-Beňová would win, calling her a strong personality that would turn Bratislava Region upside down. The MEP once enjoyed considerable popularity, but failed in a bid to become mayor of the capital in 2006, losing to Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) candidate Andrej Ďurkovský.
Flašíková-Beňová opened her campaign by criticising Frešo for making promises but, she said, leaving no visible traces and active steps behind him.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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