CITIZENS in Slovakia’s eight self-governing regions, including foreigners with permanent residence in the country, are to elect their regional governors and members of the regional parliaments for the next four years on November 9. Unlike the parliamentary elections where each political party is kicking for its own success, the regional elections give rise to unusual coalitions that often cross government-opposition lines at the national level. The regional elections (known by the Slovak-language acronym VÚC) also provide a platform for one-time parties with varying degrees of success.
In most regions, the election of governors will take place in two rounds, as winning candidates must receive at least 50 percent of the votes cast. The two candidates with the highest number of votes in the first round compete in the run-off scheduled for November 23.
Campaigning for the regional elections started on October 23 and lasted until November 7, when a moratorium on campaigning was put in effect until the polls close at 22:00 on November 9. No political campaign or promotion is allowed during election day until the 5,932 zone polling stations in 90 election districts close. A total of 2,571 candidates are running for seats in the eight regional parliaments, while 65 runners aspire for the post of VÚC governors, according to the TASR newswire.
While during the campaigning the candidates focused on luring voters with billboard slogans and rallies, there was a very little or essentially no explanation of how decisions made at regional levels might impact citizens’ lives or of the importance of getting out the vote.
The Slovak Spectator went to print before the actual results of the vote were available, however, information on the actual vote, its results and the course of the elections will be available at our website www.spectator.sk.