Mayoral election scandal hits Petržalka

A SCANDAL has erupted over the May 13 mayoral election for the Petržalka district of Bratislava. Eight members of the local electoral commission have refused to sign the minutes attached to the official results, claiming candidate Peter Matúška violated election laws.

According to the commission members, Matúška supporters were seen offering presents outside polling stations and an aeroplane trailing a banner that read "Bajan is voting for Matúška" [Vladimír Bajan is the former mayor of Petržalka and current serves as a Bratislava regional governor, ed. note], was flown over the district.

Both allegations are violations of the moratorium on campaigning that is required to go into effect 48 hours ahead of elections.

Matúška eventually won over second-place opponent Milan Ftáčnik by 128 votes, with a turnout of just 11.5 percent.

A session of the Central Electoral Commission scheduled for May 15 will decide what the refusal to sign the minutes actually means in relation to the election results. Some of the other candidates for Petržalka mayor - Milan Ftáčnik, Ladislav Snopko and Jan Kotuľa - told the TASR news agency that they intend to file a suit at the Constitutional Court to demand the election results be declared invalid.

Matúška had been supported by the Free Forum party (SF), but on May 14, the party disassociated itself from both the scandal and Matúška.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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