WEDNESDAY, November 24, is the last official day for campaigning before Slovakia’s municipal elections. Unlike general elections, a moratorium, in this case lasting 48 hours, applies to municipal races.
The official election campaign was launched on November 10 and lasted two weeks. It ends 48 hours before polling stations open. As of 7:00 on November 24 it is forbidden to broadcast or publish information about political parties and candidates in speech, writing, sound or images. The ban is valid for all media and for buildings where district election commissions are located as well as in their immediate surroundings. The moratorium lasts until polling stations close at 20:00 on Saturday, November 27.
Publication of opinion polls results applying to the elections is prohibited for a week before the vote.
Almost 3,000 municipalities in Slovakia will select their mayors and local councillors on Saturday, November 27, with polling stations opening at 7:00 and closing at 20:00. The elected officials will serve for the next four years. In Bratislava and Košice voters will be asked to vote four times: for city mayor, city council, district mayor and district council.
Altogether 5,952 polling stations will be open on election day.
There are over 4 million people eligible to vote in these elections. State citizenship is not a requirement; instead, all permanent residents, including foreigners, have the right to vote in municipal elections.
Voters must be 18 or older and have permanent residence status in Slovakia, said Michal Kaliňák, the spokesperson of the Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (ZMOS).
“If a foreigner has permanent residence in a municipality, he or she has the right to vote for the self-administration bodies of the respective municipality and even has the right to be elected to one of the self-administration bodies of the respective village or town – that is, as a mayor or as a member of the local council,” Kaliňák told The Slovak Spectator.
The Central Election Committee has advised voters to pay attention to the number of candidates they can vote for. Only one candidate for the post of mayor can be selected.
When voting for members of their municipal council, voters should be aware of the number of council seats which is stated at the top of the ballot. That number determines the maximum number of candidates that can be voted for: if a voter selects more, their ballot is considered invalid and void. Voters select their choices by circling names on the ballot.
The police have asked all those who intend to vote to make sure their ID cards are valid.
“Voting can only be done on the basis of an ID card,” police spokesperson Denisa Baloghová told The Slovak Spectator.
The first, unofficial results are expected to be published shortly after polling stations close on Saturday at 20:00. Official results will be published the morning after the elections.
24. Nov 2010 at 12:00 | Michaela Terenzani