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Slovakia to elect new president

Slovak citizens are voting in a presidential election, choosing from among 14 candidates to succeed Ivan Gasparovic in a largely ceremonial post.

Left-leaning Prime Minister Robert Fico is a favourite to win the ballot. The 49-year-old heads Slovakia's dominant SMER-Social Democracy party. He led it to a landslide victory in 2012 that allowed the party to govern alone - a first for Slovakia.

Mr Fico's major challenger is Andrej Kiska, the 51-year-old successful businessman-turned philanthropist.

Other notable candidates include Milan Knazko, a leading figure of the 1989 Velvet Revolution that ended Communist rule in Czechoslovakia and Radoslav Prochazka, an independent conservative lawmaker with a degree from Yale Law School.

If no candidate wins at least 50%, the top two will advance to a second round on March 29.

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