THE EUROPEAN Commission is highly disappointed with Slovakia's low turnout in the elections for European Parliament on June 15, which broke all previous record lows, said Reijo Kemppinen, commission spokesman.
"As far as the low voter turnout is concerned we are, indeed, very disappointed. It is not what we were hoping for," he said.
Educating voters about the importance of using their right to vote for MEPs is the only way to boost Slovakia’s turnout, the news wire TASR reported.
A mere 16.96 percent of voters showed up at polling stations in the country on Sunday - the lowest proportion of all 25 European Union member states, which averaged an elector turnout of 45.5 percent. Slovakia had the lowest turnout for an EP election since they were first held in 1979.
The commission also criticised the less-than-satisfactory turnout in other new member states, including 20 percent in Poland and attendance below 30 percent in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Estonia.
Slovakia has made a bad name for itself among other EU member states, Foreign Affairs Minister Eduard Kukan said.
Kukan was hard-pressed to explain voter apathy in the country.
"Everyone has naturally taken note that Slovakia had the worst result, which disappointed its partners. Other member states also saw a low turnout but ours was worryingly low," he told TASR.
Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
15. Jun 2004 at 10:16