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Low turnout expected in local elections

ONLY 20 percent of the Slovak electorate are definitely going to participate in the local elections on November 26, according to a poll by the Statistics Office.

Slovak President Ivan Gasparovič called on the Slovak voters to go to the polls.

"Those who do not use their right to vote, send out a signal to regional politicians that they are indifferent towards events in the region and have given up wanting to control public affairs," Gasparovič said.

However, businessmen and MPs are interested in the local elections, mostly because they want to run for office, the daily SME reported.

According to political ethics watchdog the Fair Play Alliance, current candidates for the local offices and the firms they are associated with have received state orders worth over Sk1 billion between 2001 and 2005.

Zuzana Wienk of the alliance thinks that businessmen should not run for office and warns that businesspeople that hold political office have an advantage in tenders for state orders over businesspeople that do not.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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