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VOTE: First comments: Smer and independents are most successful

A FEW hours after final but unofficial results of municipal elections have been published, parties have started to comment on them, providing various interpretations of who succeeded and who did not.

A FEW hours after final but unofficial results of municipal elections have been published, parties have started to comment on them, providing various interpretations of who succeeded and who did not.

Smer strengthened its position since it increased the number of its candidates elected to the mayoral post in comparison with 2010 elections, from 599 to 847 mayors, while right wing parties suffered a debacle, Prime Minister Robert Fico stated on November 16, the TASR newswire reported.

“Before the elections, we in Smer set a goal to strengthen the party’s position in municipal structures,” Fico told the press, as quoted by TASR. “I can state with great satisfaction that we accomplished this goal.”

While Smer clinched more than 29 percent of mayoral offices, the second most successful party Christian and Democratic Movement (KDH) reached just 4.19 percent, he added.

During the press conference of KDH, broadcasted by private broadcaster TA3, the party's head Ján Figeľ pointed out that KDH remains the leader among parties which are central or right aligned.

The head of opposition Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) Igor Matovič sees elections as the victory of independence, referring to the fact that 1,104 or 37.95 percent of mayors ran as independent, according to TASR.

The number of independent candidates increased significantly in comparison with previous municipal elections and current ones approved the dominance of the now ruling Smer party, according to political analyst Michal Horský, according to TASR.

Political analyst Martin Klus, however, pointed out that some of the candidates running as independents decided to do so because of unpopularity of political parties and later they will eventually join some political group, TASR reported.

Horský also told the TASR that it is a second time that the claim that Bratislava and Košice are bases of right wing parties has been shown to be false. Smer’s candidate Richard Raši kept his post in Košice against the candidate of right-wing parties Rudolf Bauer; in Bratislava the candidate who was supported by right wing parties, Milan Kňažko, lost against the independent Ivo Nesrovnal. Four years ago Raši won over incumbent mayor František Knapík, supported by the coalition of right-wing parties. In Bratislava Milan Ftáčnik, who ran as independent with support of Smer won over his challenger Magdaléna Vášáryová, a candidate of the coalition of centre-right ruling parties, who finished second.

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