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Five regions to elect governors in second round; PM pits Slovaks against Hungarians

BRATISLAVA, Trnava, Nitra, Banská Bystrica, and Košice are preparing for the second round of the regional governor elections this Saturday, November 23. While Banská Bystrica, where an extremist has made it into the run-off, has grabbed most of the attention in the two weeks between the election rounds, Prime Minister Robert Fico has turned his attention to Trnava by endorsing a Slovak candidate over a Hungarian one.

BRATISLAVA, Trnava, Nitra, Banská Bystrica, and Košice are preparing for the second round of the regional governor elections this Saturday, November 23. While Banská Bystrica, where an extremist has made it into the run-off, has grabbed most of the attention in the two weeks between the election rounds, Prime Minister Robert Fico has turned his attention to Trnava by endorsing a Slovak candidate over a Hungarian one.

In Trnava, the incumbent Tibor Mikuš will face József Berényi, the head of the Party of Hungarian Community (SMK), in the second round. Berényi is supported by opposition party Most-Híd.

Fico travelled to Trnava to support Smer candidate Mikuš, where he tried to convince inhabitants to vote for the Slovak candidate, saying that people should come to the elections, because if they do not, others will.

“If Most-Híd and SMK tell us that they are participating in this election to elect in Trnava, a Slovak town, a Hungarian governor, I answer: Let us join Slovaks in Slovak political parties and let us elect Tibor Mikuš,” Fico said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Berényi called Fico’s statements “an unnecessary seeking of conflicts”, SITA reported.

Fico divides voters into Slovaks and Hungarians and brings nationalism into the regional elections, Most-Híd chair Béla Bugár told a press conference, as reported by SITA, at which he also expressed his party’s support for the centre-right candidate in Bratislava, Pavol Frešo.

Most Slovaks will be focused on Banská Bystrica Region on November 23, where incumbent and Smer candidate Vladimír Maňka will square off against far-right extremist Marian Kotleba. A number of politicians from across the political spectrum have expressed their support for Maňka against Kotleba in the name of fighting for democratic principles. Ľudovít Kaník, the regional head of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) who lost in the first round of the governor’s election, refrained from endorsing either of the two candidates. SDKÚ head Pavol Frešo (running for the post in Bratislava) however said he “would vote for Maňka” if he were in Banská Bystrica Region.

Source: SITA, Sme

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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