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Four of Slovakia’s regions to hold runoff elections today

ON SATURDAY, November 28, four of Slovakia's eight self-governing regions will decide on their new president in the second round of these elections.

ON SATURDAY, November 28, four of Slovakia's eight self-governing regions will decide on their new president in the second round of these elections.

In the Bratislava, Banská Bystrica, Prešov and Trenčín Regions no candidate for president of the regional government received a majority of votes in the first round of the elections held two weeks ago. The two candidates with the highest number of votes in the first round are now competing to lead their regional government for the next four-year term in these runoff elections.

In Bratislava Region, the candidate with the highest number of votes in the first round was Pavol Frešo, a joint candidate of a wide coalition of right-leaning parties who won 41.29 percent of the votes. His opponent is the incumbent president of the Bratislava regional government, Vladimír Bajan, who ran as an independent candidate with support from the leading ruling party, Smer, and others. He received 30,569 votes, amounting to 29.49 percent.

In Banská Bystrica Region, the top vote-getter in the first round was Vladimír Manka, endorsed by a coalition of Smer and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). He received the support of 35.4 percent of the voters while his rival, Jozef Mikuš, representing the right-leaning opposition coalition, got 28.8 percent. Banská Bystrica is the only region in which the incumbent regional president did not make it to the runoff.

Prešov Region will see a duel between current regional head Peter Chudík, endorsed by Smer, HZDS, and other non-parliamentary parties who garnered 47.17 percent of the vote in the first round and Ján Hudacký, the candidate of the right-wing coalition.

In Trenčín Region, Pavol Sedláček, the incumbent president who is supported by the Smer-HZDS coalition, won 45.55 percent in the first round. His opponent, Martin Fedor of the coalition of the opposition parties, received 29.72 percent of the votes.

The first round of the elections on November 14 was marked by several accusations of vote-buying in central and eastern Slovakia, especially in the Prešov region. For that reason political parties are planning to monitor the polling during the second round in the most problematic locations, particularly in voting districts with Roma settlements.

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