Slovak regional elections result in political upset

During the weekend, Slovaks elected new heads of villages and towns. There was one common theme to the results -- people were voting for younger and progressive leaders with almost no ties to "big politics".

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Slovak regional elections result in political upset - NewsMavens
Anti-corruption protest April 2018, YouTube

Why this story matters:

What do the results of regional elections in Slovakia signify? Juraj Šeliga, one of the leaders of the massive protests that brought people to the streets after the death of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak, thinks that these elections are a sign that people are not satisfied with old politicians and their corrupt politics.

"The change we initiated on the squares in March continues," Šeliga said the day after the results were published.

The trend we see in these elections are clear. There is a wave of new political leaders who are young, progressive and want to enter the fray. Time will tell if they can succeed without any previous political experience.

Details from the story:

  • Ruling party Smer lost a lot of city mayoral seats.
  • Regional politicians want to stay independent from political parties. More than 35 percent candidates who will manage the towns and villages are independent.
  • The Far right People's Party -- Our Slovakia won the mayoral race in only one of almost 3,000 town and village elections.
  • In the small town Tisovec, an old man was attacked by a group of Roma people and died a few weeks before elections. The far right organized a big protest in the village and tried to make their candidate a mayor. However, they were not successful and were defeated by a nursemaid who takes care of children at the local school.
  • Sociologist Michal Vašečka says that people do not trust political parties and vote for non-conventional candidates who remind them of the leaders of the western world. 
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