Slovakia goes to the polls today to choose the largely ceremonial post of President. The vote is being seen as a test for leftist Prime Minister Robert Fico.Although incumbent President Ivan Gasparovic, whom Fico supports, is ahead in the opinion polls, he faces a strong challenge from main opposition nominee Iveta Radicova. The Christian Democrat has sparked criticism among the clergy for refusing to back a total ban on abortion. Former communist Slovakia has a conservative tradition linked to a strong Catholic influence. Gasparovic is still the favourite to hang onto his job although the vote is expected to go to a second round. Fico came to power in 2006 pledging to help the poor in the European Union member country. He has worked to give the state a stronger role in the economy. Fico is Slovakia’s most popular politician by far, scoring 40 percent in an opinion poll this month. Gasparovic, a 67-year-old lawyer, has been strongly supported by Fico who has taken an active role in his campaign, appearing with the President on dozens of billboards nationwide.
Slovakia votes in Presidential poll