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Clashes taint build-up to Slovakian election

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Clashes taint build-up to Slovakian election


Police and protesters have clashed in the Slovakian capital Bratislava after an anti-corruption demonstration turned violent.

Police used pepper spray and stun grenades to disperse the hundreds gathered in the city on the eve of the country’s general election.

Slovakia’s former prime minister Robert Fico looks set to make a return to the political centre stage as he and his centre-left party lead in the polls.

Fico has won huge support for his campaign, based on the creation of a strong social safety net in difficult economic times, with a vow to tax the rich and financial institutions.

The outgoing coalition faces an electoral drubbing as a result of a major corruption scandal in the mid-2000s and the decision of popular Prime Minister Iveta Radicova to resign the leadership of the Slovak Democratic Union.

The new leader of the centre-right party and foreign secretary in the outgoing government, Mikulas Dzurinda, looks set to lose his seat at the top table and faces being voted out of parliament.

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