VÚC VOTE: Regional leaders elected; extremist wins in Banská Bystrica

VOTERS in five remaining self-governing regions, known by Slovaks under the acronym VÚCs, have elected their leaders in the second round of regional elections held on November 23. Banská Bystrica grabbed most of the attention when a right-wing extremist, Marian Kotleba, who has a history of racist statements and acts, won the second-round run-off, according to the official results confirmed by the Central Election Commission on November 24.

VOTERS in five remaining self-governing regions, known by Slovaks under the acronym VÚCs, have elected their leaders in the second round of regional elections held on November 23. Banská Bystrica grabbed most of the attention when a right-wing extremist, Marian Kotleba, who has a history of racist statements and acts, won the second-round run-off, according to the official results confirmed by the Central Election Commission on November 24.

Election turnout was low, only 17.29 percent, according to official results.

In Bratislava Region incumbent Pavol Frešo, backed by Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Most-Híd, Party of Hungarian Community (SMK), Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), Civic Conservative Party (OKS) and Green Party, collected 74.2 percent of the vote and defeated Monika Flašíková-Beňová supported by Smer, who picked 25.8 percent, according to the official results.

In Banská Bystrica Region Kotleba of the People’s Party – Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) picked up 55.5 percent and thus defeated Vladimír Maňka, backed by Smer, KDH, SMK, Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), Movement for Democracy and the Green Party, who collected 44.5 percent.

In Košice Region Zdenko Trebuľa, backed by Smer, Most-Híd and SMK won the second round with 53.1 percent, while his rival Rudolf Bauer backed by the Conservative Democrats of Slovakia (KDS) garnered 46.9 percent.

The Nitra Region saw a second round race between Milan Belica of Smer, SNS and the Agrarian Party of the Countryside, and Tomáš Galbavý, the joint candidate of the SDKÚ, Most-Híd, New Majority-Agreement (NOVA), OKS, SaS and SMK. Belica collected 55.6 percent of the vote, defeating Galbavy, with 44.4 percent.

In Trnava Region, Tibor Mikuš backed by Smer, SNS and the Communist Party of Slovakia (KSS), collected 60.3 percent, while his rival József Berényi supported by SMK and OKS, took 39.7 percent of the vote, according to the official results.

There were three candidates who won the first round of elections: incumbent Peter Chudík, supported by Smer, Our Region and the Party of Modern Slovakia, won the Prešov race, and incumbent Juraj Blanár, supported by Smer, secured his position in Žilina, while Trenčín went to Smer candidate Jaroslav Baška.

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