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Velvet Revolution man to run for Slovak president

November 29, 2013

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Milan Knazko, a leading figure of the 1989 Velvet Revolution that ended Communist rule in Czechoslovakia, says he will be a candidate next year for Slovakia’s presidency, a largely ceremonial post.

Knazko, a former actor, became an adviser to Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel before the country split in 1993. Knazko was briefly foreign minister in the Slovak government of the Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. Since 1998, he served four years as culture minister in the reform-minded government of Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda.

The 68-year-old said Friday he is not backed by any political party.

More than 10 candidates have announced their hopes of succeeding President Ivan Gasparovic when his final term expires.

The dominant Slovak SMER-Social Democracy party will announce its candidate in December.

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