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Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 10:25:02 PM
Wednesday December 18, 2013 MYT 10:25:56 PM
Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico speaks during a news conference at the Slovak government building in Bratislava, October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa
PRAGUE (Reuters) - Slovakia's leftist Prime Minister Robert Fico announced on Wednesday he would run in the country's presidential election next year, aiming to complete his political career after six years at the helm of the cabinet.
The president is the central European country's head of state but holds less day-to-day executive power than the prime minister.
A Fico victory in the presidential election - likely according to opinion polls - would force a reshuffle of the cabinet. Fico's Smer party holds a majority in parliament, and parliament speaker Pavol Paska and Interior Minister Robert Kalinak are possible successors as prime minister.
"I am a social democrat. I am offering my candidacy and understand it as a service for Slovakia and its people, aiming to protect its internal stability," Fico, 49, told a meeting of politicians and diplomats.
The new president would replace outgoing Ivan Gasparaovic, who will have completed his second and final five-year term in June next year.
(Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by John Stonestreet and Pravin Char)
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