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Slovak PM takes on political newcomer in Presidential poll

Slovak PM takes on political newcomer in Presidential poll
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In Slovakia, presidential elections are underway, in a ballot which pits the prime minister against an independent candidate.

While Saturday’s first round is not expected to produce an outright winner current Prime Minister Robert Fico remains the frontrunner. His centre-left Smer Party holds a parliamentary majority.

In a recent TV debate he said Slovaks knew what they would get with him.

“I am politically naked. People know absolutely everything about me: where I live, what car I drive or who I hugged at the airport. But people also know that I work hard and sometimes make mistakes because that just comes with the job,’‘ Fico said.

Businessman turned philanthropist Andrej Kiska is seen as Fico’s main challenger. An independent, Kiska appeals to many voters angry over a spate of recent political scandals.

“There has been a rise in corruption throughout society and the smell is coming from the top. None of the big corruption cases were looked at until the very end,’‘ said Kiska.

Despite being a two-horse race, it’s thought unlikely either candidate will win the required majority, so sending them into a run-off scheduled at the end of March.