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Low turnout and opposition victory characterize regional chairmen elections

WHILE performing well in the elections to the local parliament, right-wing parties recorded a major loss in the higher territorial unit (VÚC) elections for eight regional chairmen.

The main victor of the December 10 elections was the opposition party Smer, daily SME wrote.

However, the second round of regional elections saw the lowest turnout in Slovakia's history, with only 11.07 percent of the voters casting their ballots. In all, 474,039 people took part in the vote.

The highest turnout was registered in the Nitra region (16.19 percent), while the lowest was in the Trenčín region (7.12 percent).

The new governor of the Bratislava region will be Vladimír Bajan, the candidate of a coalition of the Christian Democrats (KDH), Smer, the Free Forum (SF) and the Movement for Democracy (HZD), with 67.39 percent of the vote, the TASR news agency wrote.

Tibor Mikuš, candidate for the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), Leftist Block (LB) and nationalist parties the Unified SNS and Real SNS (ZSNS and SNS), is the new head of the Trnava region with 54.74 percent of votes cast. Pavol Sedláček (HZDS-ANO-PSNS-ZSNS) won in the Trenčín region (with 51.83 percent). Voters in the Nitra region re-elected current chairman Milan Belica (HZDS-ZSNS-KSS-LB-PSNS), who gained 74.08 percent of the vote.

Juraj Blanár (Smer-SNS-ANO-HZD) is the new head of the Žilina region (with 51.37 percent). Milan Murgaš (Smer-SNS-HZD-KDH-SZS) won the post of Banská Bystrica regional head (on 50.88 percent). Peter Chudík (Smer-SNS-HZD) was re-elected in the Prešov region (with 53.03 percent). Zdenko Trebula (Smer-HZD) is the new head of the Košice region (with 57.52 percent).

However, the regional coalitions do not directly reflect the situation in the national Parliament. This is most apparent in the Nitra region, where a coalition of left and right was created, along with nationalist parties.

Besides this combination, there are three blocks that can be found in several regions.

The first block consists of the SDKÚ, DS and KDH, while the second block is made up of a Smer-HZD coalition, which is also co-operating with the ANO and SNS in some regions. The third coalition, the so-called National Block, consists of the HZDS and two nationalist parties (Unified SNS and Real SNS).

Speaker of parliament and leader of the KDH, Pavol Hrušovský, said that politicians must become more aware of the negative atmosphere in society, which puts the voters off and turn them disinterested in public affairs.

Hrušovský also believes that politicians failed to efficiently explain the importance of regional governments.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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