The Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) party is planning to reward first-time voters in the March 10 general election, said party leader Igor Matovič at a press briefing on Bratislava's SNP Square on March 7, adding that 20,000 T-shirts with the message "We Love This Country" and Slovakia's state symbol will be given to first-time voters, the TASR newswire reported.
Matovič said that first-time voters will be eligible to receive one of the T-shirts if on Saturday morning they write on Facebook that they "love this country" and that is why they are voting. Then after 10:00 they should appear outside city and town halls across Slovakia and they will receive a free T-shirt. Matovič said his party will not be checking on how someone voted and added that this is not possible anyway.
The head of the Slovakia’s Central Election Commission (ÚVK), Peter Nyilfa, said he suspects "some sort of corruption" in the plan, stating "I believe that this form of reward constitutes vote-buying". The ÚVK has not received any complaint over the OĽaNO plan, he said, but if that is done the commission will deal with it.
Matovič rejected the claim that the party's plans are a form of corruption. "The law clearly stipulates that a crime is committed by those who promise a bribe to somebody in exchange for their voting in a particular manner – that is, for a particular party or candidate. We'll reward all first-time voters with our T-shirt, regardless who they may vote for," Matovič told TASR.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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