FOUR incumbents have secured their positions in the Košice, Nitra, Trnava and Žilina regions in the first round of elections held on November 14 in Slovakia’s eight regions. In the remaining four regions, Bratislava, Trenčín, Banská Bystrica and Prešov the two top candidates will clash in second round elections to be held on November 28.
In the vote 22.9-percent of the 4,397,619 eligible voters cast their ballots, according to the official results announced by the Central Elections Commission on November 15. The highest turnout was in Banská Bystrica Region with 27.60 percent of voters taking part followed by Prešov Region with 26.32 percent. The lowest turnout was in Bratislava Region at 19.46 percent, newswire SITA reported.
The coalition of Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) and Smer was the most successful with its 101 deputies of the total of 408 elected regional parliamentary deputies. It represents a 24.8 percent share. Independent candidates will hold 55 seats, 13.5 percent, while the centre-right coalition of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union and the Christian Democratic Movement will have 50 seats representing a 12.3 percent share, the Slovak Statistics Office reported.
Incumbent Zdenko Trebuľa, who was supported by a wide coalition comprising Smer, the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) and Most-Híd party, won the race in the Košice region with over 60 percent of votes. Milan Belica, backed by the so-called Slovak coalition which crossed opposition and ruling coalition lines and made up of Smer, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) won in the Nitra race with similar result. The Trnava post went to Tibor Mikuš who officially ran as independent but was also backed by the Slovak National Party (SNS) and who received 53 percent of the votes. Juraj Blanár was the victor in Žilina with support by Smer, SNS and HZDS with 63.2 percent, the best result of all the regions.
In the second round in the Bratislava Region, the joint candidate of the right-of-centre parties, Pavol Frešo (with over 41 percent of the votes in the first round), will clash with the incumbent Vladimír Bajan (almost 29.5 percent), an independent candidate supported by the ruling parties of Smer and HZDS. However, Bajan, according to the Sme daily, can also count on support from Branislav Záhradník (14.9 percent), a former SDKÚ party member, who was running as an independent candidate and finished third in the first round balloting, based on the official results.
In Banská Bystrica Region, which suffers from one of the highest unemployment rates in Slovakia, Smer and HZDS nominee Vladimír Maňka (35.4 percent), who is also one of Smer’s deputies in the European Parliament, will face Jozef Mikuš (28.8 percent) who is backed by a coalition of the centre-right parties.
In Trenčín Region, incumbent governor Pavol Sedláček (45.6 percent) supported by HZDS and Smer will face Martin Fedor (29.7 percent), supported by a coalition of centre-right parties including SDKÚ and KDH.
The Prešov Region, the biggest of the eight regions in area and population, will see a second round race between incumbent Peter Chudík (47.2 votes), Smer’s candidate, and Ján Hudacký (24.7 percent), the joint candidate of KDH, SDKÚ and Freedom and Solidarity (SaS).
Observers say that the official results from the regional elections reflect to a large degree the current level of sympathies for Slovakia’s political parties at the state level. According to political scientist Juraj Marušiak, the regional results confirm certain stability in the distribution of political forces in Slovakia, the TASR newswire wrote.
Based on the official results in the first round of regional elections on November 14 the distribution of seats by coalition and political party in the regional parliaments of Slovakia’s eight Self-Governing Regions (VÚCs) is a follows, according to the Slovak Statistics Office and the SITA newswire.
At the 44-seat Bratislava regional parliament the coalition consisting of the KDH, the SDKÚ, the Civil Conservative Party (OKS), and the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) will have 26 seats or 59 percent. The coalition featuring the HZDS, Smer, and the HZD will hold 14 seats or 31.8 percent. The SaS party, Civic Candidates, the Most-Híd party and one independent candidate will each have one seat.
In the 57-seat Žilina regional parliament, the coalition of HZDS and Smer will hold 21 seats, 36.8 percent; the coalition of the KDH, OKS and SDKÚ will hold 18 seats, 31.6 percent and the SNS will hold 6 seats. The HZD, Free Forum (SF) and SZS will each hold one seat and independent candidates will have 11 seats.
The 49-seat Banská Bystrica regional parliament has an absolute majority of the HZDS and Smer coalition with 27 seats, 55.1 percent; the SMK will hold 7 seats, 14.3 percent, the coalition of KDH and SDKÚ will have 6 seats, and the coalition of HZD and SNS will have 3 seats. The coalition of Most-Híd and the Green Party will have 1 seat and independent candidates won 5 seats, forming the remaining 30.1 percent.
The 40-seat Trnava regional parliament will feature the coalition of KDH and SDKÚ with 11 seats, 27.5 percent, followed by the SMK with 11 seats, 27.5 percent. The coalition of HZD, HZDS, SNS and Smer will hold 10 seats; Most-Híd will have 1 seat while independent candidates will hold 6 seats. The New Democracy party will have one seat.
The 45-seat Trenčín parliament will be dominated by the HZDS and Smer coalition, which will hold 27 seats, 60 percent; the KDH and SDKÚ coalition won 8 seats; and independent candidates will occupy 10 seats.
The 54-seat Nitra regional parliament will be governed by the so-called wide Slovak coalition made up of KDH, SDKÚ, HZDS and Smer and the coalition captured 38 seats, 70.4 percent; SMK will have 13 seats, 24.1 percent and independent candidates won 3 seats.
The 62-seat Prešov parliament will include a coalition formed by the HZDS and Smer which won 26 seats, 41.9 percent and the coalition of KDH and SDKÚ, which took 25 seats, 40.3 percent. The coalition of League, civil-liberal party, New Democracy, Free Forum and the Green Party will hold 2 seats; the Party of Roma Coalition will hold 1 seat; ÚSVIT will have one seat while independent candidates won 6 seats.
The 57-seat Košice regional parliament will be dominated by Smer which won 30 seats, 45.6 percent. Independent candidates will have 13 seats, 22.8 percent while the coalition of the Democratic Party, KDS, OKS and SDKÚ will hold 8 seats. HZDS and SZS will have 4 seats while the coalition of HZD, SF and the Party of Civil Solidarity will have 2 seats.