Uncontested council election seats 'mockery of democracy'
Nearly 100 councillors in Wales will be reappointed without being challenged at the local elections.
On Thursday, 7.3% of Welsh local authority seats will be uncontested, with 92 councillors returned without any votes being cast.
One county councillor in Powys has gone unchallenged for his seat for 37 years.
Prof Roger Scully, of Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre, said it made a "mockery of democracy".
Yscir, in Powys, is the only ward in Wales with no one standing for election as its councillor of 27 years is retiring.
When there is no challenger, no votes are cast and the incumbent councillor is returned to their position.
Half of Wales' 22 local authorities have at least one such ward.
Gwynedd has the largest number of uncontested seats in Wales, with 21, while Powys comes second-highest with 16.
Michael Williams has been a councillor in Powys for 37 years and has not faced an opponent since he was elected.
Now aged 74, the independent councillor for Machynlleth will be re-elected again, uncontested, on 4 May.
Mr Williams, who has also been a Machynlleth town councillor for 43 years, said he had not faced any challengers as he was doing a good job.
"I have always looked at my being a councillor as a partnership with the people of Machynlleth," he said, and added he has no plans to step down any time soon.
But the lack of choice for the electorate in such seats has led to concerns.
Prof Scully, who is an expert in politics, said: "Democracy depends on people having a choice, having no candidates means there is no choice.
"We do have quite a large number of uncontested seats: it's a disaster in terms of democracy, that people don't have a choice.
"It makes a mockery of democracy, it is disastrous for everyone that we have this sort of situation."
Prof Scully said the proportion of uncontested seats in Wales had only slightly improved since 2012, despite not a single seat going uncontested in Scotland at the nation's last local elections.
Local elections 2017: Uncontested seats
Llanfihangel ar arth
Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd Llanfihangel
Rhyl West - two seats
Broughton North East
Flint Coleshill - two seats
Penyffordd - two seats
Neath Port Talbot
Briton Ferry West
Port Talbot - three seats
Yscir - no one standing