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Slovakia: Opposition Wins Majority Of Governor Posts

Bratislava, 16 December 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Candidates backed by former Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's opposition party have won a majority of governor seats in yesterday's runoff regional elections. Runoffs had to take place because of inconclusive results in seven out of eight races in the first round of voting two weeks ago.

The Central Electoral Commission today said six out of seven governors elected in the runoffs are backed by Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). Voters elected a pro-government candidate only in the eastern Kosice region.

Average turnout for the runoffs was around 23 percent.

Two weeks ago, the HZDS had already dominated regional legislative elections, taking total or partial control of five out of eight local parliaments.

Analysts say the good performance of the pro-Meciar officials do not necessarily give a true picture of what next year's parliamentary elections will be like.