NEWS IN SHORT

Parties used gifts to attract voters

SUPPORTERS of the reformed communist Democratic Left Party (SDĽ) were seen offering towels, coffee and sweets in exchange for unused ballots at some polling stations in the Banská Bystrica and Prešov regions.

The activity was most widespread in southern villages with high Roma populations. Matej Krivulka, the editor-in-chief of the regional information portal rimava.sk, told SITA that SDĽ activists handed out gifts in Pavlovce, Hodejovce, Gortva, Blhovce and Belin in the Rimavská Sobota district.

"In Pavlovce, one voter did not understand clearly what the activists wanted and gave them his unused SDĽ ballot after casting the remaining ballots in the box. He was very disappointed when they refused to give him the presents," Krivulka said.

Deputy chairman of the Banská Bystrica regional office Jozef Šimko and bodybuilder Adam Cibuľa, both candidates of the Movement for Democracy (HZD), also toured southern villages with high Roma populations during their campaign. The party was supported by Hungarian singer Arpád Zambo.

Meanwhile, the Smer party has filed a complaint against candidate Ondrej Kovalský for abuse of the party's name and logo after Kovalský's supporters were discovered offering gift vouchers in exchange for votes. The voucher did not reveal any terms for its use, only a recommendation to visit a web page, which showed the voucher was a discount for an insurance product.

The other side of the voucher also had the names of other candidates, such as Ján Chrbet of the Slovak National Party (SNS) and Milan Spodniak of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia. SNS has distanced itself from the activity, labeling it "immoral".

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