VOTE: Polling stations closed; results expected on Sunday, 10:00 am

Polling stations for municipal elections in nearly 3,000 cities, towns and villages were closed on Saturday at 8 pm. The only exception is a polling station in the Košice borough of Luník IX, where the polls stayed open for an extra 10 minutes because voting was interrupted for 10 minutes earlier in the day due to allegations of vote-buying, TASR newswire reported.

Polling stations for municipal elections in nearly 3,000 cities, towns and villages were closed on Saturday at 8 pm. The only exception is a polling station in the Košice borough of Luník IX, where the polls stayed open for an extra 10 minutes because voting was interrupted for 10 minutes earlier in the day due to allegations of vote-buying, TASR newswire reported.

In the eight regional capitals, Banská Bytrica, Bratislava, Košice, Nitra, Prešov, Trenčín, Trnava and Žilina a total of 50 candidates were running for ma mayoral posts. There were 2,926 mayoral posts up for grabs, but there were six races that did not take place because there were no candidates, TASR wrote.

The Central Electoral Commission (UVK) at its session on Saturday dealt with around 30 complaints over the elections, while most of them concerned reported violations of the election moratorium. Complaints over purported vote-buying were also discussed.

Public interest in the local elections has been gradually falling since late 1990s. While in 1998 the turnout was 54 percent of registered voters, in 2002 it was only 49 percent, and just over 47 percent showed up at the polls in 2006.

Official results of the local elections are expected to be announced on Sunday, 10:00 am.

State citizenship is not a requirement; a permanent address in Slovakia provides the right to vote in the municipal elections. Foreigners with a permanent address in Slovakia can cast their ballots in the municipality in which they hold residence. To vote in the municipal elections, foreigners (as well as Slovak citizens) 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).

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