Presidential elections were held in Slovakia on 3 April 2004, with a second round on 17 April. Although former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar received the most votes in the first round, he was defeated by Ivan Gašparovič in the run-off.
The result was surprising because nobody expected Eduard Kukan to be eliminated in the first round. He polled 1st prior the first round with over 30% support. Ivan Gašparovič himself didn't expect to qualify for the second round as he went home to sleep and found out about his success only when he was waken up by phone calls of his friends.
Incumbent president Rudolf Schuster came fourth with 7% of the vote and was eliminated in the first round. He then retired from politics.