Vote-buying from Roma in regional elections again

Slovakia gets ready for election polls; photo: Ian Britton

With the local elections coming up at the end of November, the focus has turned once again to vote-buying among the Roma community, a problem that rears its head  at every election.

The problem has been one of the main causes of elections being declared void in some municipalities in the past. There are already claims coming in from East Slovakia, where the situation is at its worst. One man explained that the Roma could hardly be blamed as they have been pushed to the edge of society, and every cent is welcome.

State secretary with the Ministry of Interior, Maros Zilinka, informed that a new election code would hopefully be in place by the end of next year, with new rules for all types of election. He also called on the public to report any cases of vote buying to the police.

A Constitutional Court analysis on election problems presented today also points to the unauthorised presence of certain people when votes are being counted, and manipulation with ballots, among other things.  The court’s president confirmed that the analysis shows the buying of voted to be the single biggest problem with elections in Slovakia.

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