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Slovakia could get its first female president in ballot

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Voters in Slovakia are selecting a new head of state in an election that could give the country its first female president. The leading contenders are Zuzana Caputova, an environmental activist in favor of gay rights and who opposes a ban on abortion in the conservative Roman Catholic country, and Maros Sefcovic, who is a European Commission vice president.

In all, 13 candidates are vying to become the country's fifth head of state since Slovakia gained independence in 1993 after Czechoslovakia split in two. Andrej Kiska, a successful businessman-turned-philanthropist, is not standing for a second five-year term in the largely ceremonial post.

If no single candidate wins a majority on Saturday, a runoff will be held on March 30 in this central European nation of 5.4 million people.

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