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Slovak Corruption File Boosts Gain for New Parties, Poll Shows

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Support for Slovakia’s ruling coalition and the main opposition party fell one month before elections as anti-corruption protests bolstered newcomers calling for elimination of graft, a poll showed.

The four parties in Iveta Radicova’s Cabinet would muster a combined 28.3 percent, according to a poll conducted Feb. 1-7 by Focus, a private company, compared with 30.4 percent in January. Smer, the largest opposition party, would gain 37.3 percent, down from 41.8 percent, the Bratislava, Slovakia-based Focus said today.

The public mood in the eastern European country facing the vote on March 10 is influenced by a leaked suspected intelligence file, which suggests ties between politicians and local businessmen during the 2002-2006 rule of former premier and current Foreign Affairs Minister Mikulas Dzurinda. Support for his SDKU party dropped to 6.1 percent from 10.2 percent in December.

The public discontent over corruption, which led to a series of rallies across the country in the past month, is helping new parties, according to the poll. Ordinary People and 99 Percent, both established last year, would gain 8.9 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively, according to the poll conducted on a sample of 1,053 respondents. No margin of error was given.

The following is a table of preferences for parties, which would be represented in parliament, according to the Focus poll:

Party February, % January, %

------------------------------------------------------------

Smer                      37.3                      41.8
Christian Democrats*      10.3                       9.3
Ordinary People            8.9                       5.2
99 Percent                 6.9                       4.6
SDKU*                      6.1                       8.3 
Most-Hid*                  6.0                       6.4 
Freedom and Solidarity*    5.9                       6.4

------------------------------------------------------------

Source: Focus; * - member of the current ruling coalition

To contact the reporter on this story: Radoslav Tomek in Bratislava at rtomek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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