Criteria used when citizens place votes

Personality, knowledge of problems and delivering on promises are the three basic characteristics which weigh with municipal residents when choosing a mayor. This is what mayors replied when asked about the criteria by which citizens choose a mayor, and they put party support in last place on the list, estimating that just 8.6 percent vote on the basis of party political criteria. It is striking that while three out of four mayors are against the party mantle during local elections, 49 percent consider that «quite a few» or «enough» residents vote on the basis of the mayoral candidates’ appearance. Since discussion of a new electoral law is expected to start after the elections, 60 percent of mayors are in favor of a more proportional system in mayoral elections, and 56 percent want this for parliamentary elections. The same poll found that eight out of 10 mayors will be standing as candidates again in the October elections. The overwhelming majority are men; half fall in the 45-54 age bracket while 62.2 percent have completed higher education. One in three is a freelance professional and 30.3 percent are state employees.