Philanthropist trounces opponent Robert Fico, who has conceded defeat
Two hours after the polls had closed, with some 50 percent of the votes counted in this second round of the direct presidential election, it was clear philanthropist and businessman Andrej Kiska (unaffiliated) would be the next president of Slovakia.
Kiska was leading comfortably with 60 percent of the votes against the 40 percent obtained by Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-Social Democracy). That is a projected margin of victory of some 200,000 votes, according to the Czech News Agency.
The prime minister has conceded defeat and congratulated Kiska on his win.
In the runup to the second round, Czech President Miloš Zeman expressed his support for the candidacy of Robert Fico, saying that as a fellow Social Democrat, it would be appropriate for him to support the incumbent prime minister, adding that Fico is someone who keeps his word.
President-elect Kiska, 51, will succeed the outgoing office holder, Ivan Gašparovič, who has been the head of state since 2004 and is barred from serving a third term as president.