Slovakia’s incumbent head of state, Ivan Gasparovic, has declared victory in his run-off election for a second term.With nearly all votes counted it is estimated he polled just over 55% of the vote. That puts him more than ten points ahead of his centre-right challenger, Iveta Radicova who has already called to congratulate the leader. Radicova polled 44% Gasparovic who was favourite to win, will now be the first politician in Slovakia to serve two five- year terms as president. The vote for the largely ceremonial role is seen as a test of the government’s popularity as Prime Minister Robert Fico had given his backing to Gasparovic. They say they share an aim to improve the living standards of those affected by the belt-tightening reforms of the previous centre-right government. Fico now has a year before he faces re-election.