Direct president elections were arranged for the first time in 1999 after the parliament was unable to elect a new president (no candidate could achieve the support of a three-fifths majority as required under the constitution). In January 1999, the parliament amended the constitution thus paving the way for direct presidential elections and in March the same year the presidential election law was adopted.
The president is elected for a five-year term. The electoral system is based on the majoritarian two-round system. The voter casts a single vote for their favoured candidate and if no candidate receives a majority of the votes a second election round is organized in which the two top runners stand against one another.
The 2009 Slovak presidential elections were held on 21 March and 4 April. Seven candidates participated in the first round: Ivan Gašparovič of the governing coalition (SMER-SD); Iveta Radičová of the SKDÚ-DS; František Mikloško (KDS); Zuzana Martináková (SF), in addition to three independent candidates (Milan Melník, Milan Sidor and Dagmara Bollová). Gašparovič and Radičová advanced to the second round, in which Gašparovič won with 55,53 percent of the votes.
Election results 2009, national summary.
Birch, Sarah, Frances Millard, Marina Popescu and Kieran Williams, 2002. Embodying democracy: electoral system design in post-communist Europe. New York: Palgrave Machmillan.
Stöver, Philip, and Andreas Wüst. 2005. Electoral Systems.
Statistical Office of the Slovak Republik: http://portal.statistics.sk/