VOTERS in Slovakia’s eight self-governing regions elected regional governors and members of the country’s regional parliaments for the next four years on November 9. The polls closed at 22:00. The first preliminary results will be published on the website of the Statistics Office (www.statistics.sk) or at www.volbysr.sk shortly after 22:00.
According to the Statistical Office, 2,571 candidates were running for a total of 408 seats in the eight regional parliaments. Citizens also elected the presidents – sometimes known as governors – of the eight self-governing regions, known under the Slovak acronym VÚC. There were 65 candidates bidding for these posts, the most powerful in regional politics in Slovakia.
It is expected that in most regions the gubernatorial elections will be held in two rounds, as winning candidates must receive at least 50 percent of the votes cast by citizens. If no candidate surpasses that threshold in the first round, the two candidates with the highest number of votes in the first round will compete in a run-off, held on November 23.
Observers had estimated a turnout of about 25 percent, slightly higher than during the previous regional elections in 2009 when it stood at 22.9 percent.
VÚCs handle more than €1 billion in state funds each year and have decision-making powers in education, social services and public transport, and oversee the maintenance of lower category roads, while coordinating inter-regional and cross-border cooperation and tourism.
The VÚCs are funded by taxes paid directly to the regions, including personal income and motor vehicle taxes as well as through grants from central government ministries and European structural funds.
Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports
9. Nov 2013 at 22:00