Slovakia: Growing support for Fascists puts the legislature in reach
A public opinion survey by the MVK agency in Slovakia finds that the popularity of the ultra-right People's Party - Our Slovakia (Lidová strana - Naše Slovensko, or LS-NS) has grown to such an extent that the party, led by right-wing extremist Marian Kotleba, could be seated in the legislature if elections were held today. Last fall Kotleba surprised the country by winning direct elections to become the governor of the Banská Bystrica Region.
According to the survey conducted in January, if elections were held today, Kotleba's Fascist party could win 7.6 % of the vote, which would translate into 13 seats in the 150-member National Council. LS-NS would be the fifth-strongest political group in the country.
The ranking means LS-NS now scores higher than the SDKU-DS, who once were in government. In previous surveys LS-NS has always scored beneath the 5 % threshold guaranteeing entry into the legislature.
Kotleba is a right-wing extremist who is infamous for his sympathies with the wartime Slovak state, which closely collaborated with Nazi Germany, as well as for his anti-Romani invective and his organizing of assemblies targeting members of that minority. During the early elections in 2012, Kotleba was the front-runner for his party, which won only 1.58 % of the vote.
The new survey shows that the LS-NS would be elected today in particular by Slovaks who have never supported any party in any previous elections, as well as by former sympathizers of the ruling Social Democrats (Směr-SD), led by Slovak PM Robert Fico. On the other hand, the MVK agency believes the current results for the LS-NS are not related to the fall in popularity of the nationalist Slovak National Party, which is no longer in the legislature.
The survey was performed by the agency between 15 and 21 January 2014 and included 1 106 respondents. The results indicate that the country's favorite party remains Směr-SD, with 38.1 % support among the electorate, but it would lose its majority in the legislature if elections were to be held today.
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