SURVEY

Study: Slovakia awash in local politicians

A STUDY by the Conservative Institute think-tank based in Bratislava has exposed Slovakia as "a land of politicians".
By September 28, the country's municipalities were to determine how many council and mayoral seats would be up for grabs in the upcoming December 2 municipal elections.
Four years ago, Slovak citizens elected a total of 2,926 mayors and 21,644 local councilors to local governments, giving the country 5 local council members per 1,000 inhabitants.

A STUDY by the Conservative Institute think-tank based in Bratislava has exposed Slovakia as "a land of politicians".

By September 28, the country's municipalities were to determine how many council and mayoral seats would be up for grabs in the upcoming December 2 municipal elections.

Four years ago, Slovak citizens elected a total of 2,926 mayors and 21,644 local councilors to local governments, giving the country 5 local council members per 1,000 inhabitants.

Of the four states in the Visegrad regional grouping, which also includes the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, only the Czechs have more local politicians. Poland has the lowest ratio of local councilors to inhabitants at 1.4 per 1,000, according to the study.

Over half of Slovakia's municipal councilors serve villages of up to 1,000 inhabitants, even though the inhabitants of such municipalities constitute only 16 percent of the Slovak population.

An amendment to the Municipal Act in 2001 set new local boundaries and helped cut the number of local politicians in Slovakia from 35,616 in 1998 to 21,644 in 2002. However, according to the Conservative Institute, there is still room for further cuts.

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