New Roma Generation discovers vote-buying in Roma settlements

A civic initiative called the New Roma Generation (NRG), which monitored the June 17 general elections in 30 Roma settlements mainly in eastern Slovakia, registered several cases of vote-buying by political party candidates.

The political representatives offered money, alcohol, food, coffee and cigarettes, Peter Pollak from NRG told the TASR news wire.

According to NRG, it was mainly candidates of smaller political parties that were involved in the corruption, especially in the town of Spišská Nová Ves and the village of Letanovce (both Košice region).

The emissaries offered Roma voters Sk100 (€2.64) and a bottle of wine if they voted for the Nádej (Hope) party, and specified a candidate on the party's list whom they supported.

The Roma group uncovered similar incidents in the villages of Bystrany and Žehra (both Košice region), where Free Forum (SF) representatives also offered Roma voters Sk100, while an unknown SDKÚ representative - via Roma intermediaries - offered Roma voters sausages, coffee and cigarettes in the town of Krompachy (Košice region) if they circled his name on the SDKÚ's candidates list.

The NRG and the Civic Eye NGO called on all political parties prior to the election not to get involved in vote-buying in Roma settlements during the campaign and during the voting itself.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports

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