VOTERS in Slovakia turned out in unexpectedly high numbers yesterday for the runoff in the country's presidential election, where an underdog philanthropist is challenging political heavyweight prime minister Robert Fico.

Polling stations reported a stronger early turnout than two weeks ago, when only 43% of voted and gave only lukewarm support for Fico.

Bookmakers are giving the edge to Andrej Kiska, a businessman turned philanthropist riding on anti-Fico sentiment. Fico said he would "bite his nails" while awaiting results.

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