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Campaign for local elections poor and lacking substance

EXPERTS doubt that the campaigns during the run-up to the local elections to be held on November 26 will in any way boost voter turnout. One of the reasons is the absence of electronic media in the campaign.

According to financial daily Hospodarske noviny, the campaigns are characterized by "cliches and statements that only increase the confusion of the voters".

The campaigns have not addressed any of the key topics that are crucial for local governments. Media experts say that the campaigns reflects far too little of the problems of the regions.

Slovaks will elect the heads of eight regional higher territorial units (VÚCs): Bratislava, Trnava, Trenčín, Nitra, Banská Bystrica, Žilina, Prešov, and Košice, and the respective regional councillors. Foreigners with permanent residence can also take part in the elections.

According to data provided by the election commission, a total of 67 candidates are running for VÚC leader positions; 2,676 candidates are vying for the remaining 412 councillor seats.

The allure of the higher territorial units has diminished, along with voter turnout over the years. During the first regional elections in 2001, 133 candidates ran for the top VÚC posts and more than 4,000 candidates ran for councillor positions.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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