NEWS IN SHORT

Roma vote-buying suspicions aired

THE UNION of Roma in Slovakia is convinced that political parties bought thousands of Roma votes in the June 12 general election, mainly in central and eastern Slovakia, the Sme daily reported.

THE UNION of Roma in Slovakia is convinced that political parties bought thousands of Roma votes in the June 12 general election, mainly in central and eastern Slovakia, the Sme daily reported.

Representatives of the Union allege that the vote-buying occurred in the districts of Revúca, Banská Bystrica, Košice, Spišská Nová Ves, Prešov and Trenčín, with the price of a vote varying between €3 and €10. The representatives refused to produce evidence to support their claims, saying they were afraid of physical retaliation.

They did not specify which political parties were alleged to have been involved in the vote-buying.

The Union of Roma further demanded that the next government change the election law to make vote-buying a crime. They also asked for a ban on taking unused ballots out of the polling areas, Sme wrote.

Mayors of some villages with larger Roma communities also expressed suspicions about vote-buying. Alojz Vdovjak, the mayor of Rakúsy, in eastern Slovakia, told Sme that the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) received unusually high support, 39 percent of the vote, in his village. HZDS denied any connections to vote-buying. According to Sme, in some Roma settlements in the Spiš region it was Most-Híd that received unexpectedly high support.


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