As far as image is concerned, Slovakia’s regional elections held on November 14 and 28 represent a victory for the Smer party, political analyst Juraj Marušiak told the TASR newswire on November 29.
He said the party significantly strengthened its position in the regional parliaments and along with its coalition partners at the state level (Movement for Democratic Slovakia/HZDS and the Slovak National Party/SNS) it took seven out of eight governor posts.
“Never before was one party or one coalition in charge of all regions with one exception. On the other hand, Smer lost Bratislava region where the party’s choice (Vladimír Bajan, who ran as an independent with the support of Smer on both occasions) for governor four years ago was defeated,” said Marušiak.
He said that the second round of the elections did not bring any major surprises since the results could be deduced from the results of the first round. “It was a fight of what we call the left and the right here in Slovakia,” said the analyst.
Bratislava region is the only one where the opposition parties succeeded, with Slovak Democratic and Christian Union/SDKÚ MP Pavol Frešo (also backed by KDH, SMK, OKS and SaS) defeating incumbent governor Bajan with a 20-percent differential.
“In Bratislava region a more active campaign of Bajan had been expected, but it seemed as if he did not want to work more on the election and fight for the governor’s post more seriously. Frešo's campaign was very sharp, intense, confrontational, Bajan wasn't able to face it in any way,” said Marušiak. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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