15 contestants in Slovakia presidential race

Bratislava, Jan 15: A total of 15 candidates have received official candidacies to contest in the 2014 Slovak presidential election, Parliamentary Chairman Pavol Paska said Wednesday.

The figure marks the highest number of candidates in a presidential election in Slovakia. There were 10, 12 and seven hopefuls in the 1999, 2004 and 2009 presidential elections respectively, Xinhua reported.

The first round of the presidential election will take place March 15, with a potential run-off March 29. The list of presidential candidates include incumbent Prime Minister Robert Fico and a woman — OLaNO party’s MP Helena Mezenska.

In Slovakia’s history, it will be the fourth direct presidential election.

Rudolf Schuster was elected by the public in 1999. Incumbent President Ivan Gasparovic won the following election in 2004 and was re-elected in 2009.