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Former Slovak Premier Meciar To Run For President

Bratislava, 30 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Former Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar announced today he would run for president in the 3 April election.

Meciar, whose authoritarian nationalist policies were condemned by western democracies, was prime minister of Slovakia three times after the country became independent in 1993, following the split of Czechoslovakia. He continues to be among the country's most popular politicians.

Meciar said he wanted the Slovak voters to have an alternative in the election. Some 10 candidates have announced they are running to replace President Rudolf Schuster, who is expected to seek reelection.