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November 19, 2019
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Romani candidate has actual chance of becoming an MEP after party chair in Slovakia withdraws and backs him

22.5.2019 15:10
Peter Pollák (left) and Igor Matovič (right) at a press conference on 20 May 2019 announcing that Matovič was withdrawing his EP candidacy.  (PHOTO: Facebook page of the OĽaNO movement, Slovakia)
Peter Pollák (left) and Igor Matovič (right) at a press conference on 20 May 2019 announcing that Matovič was withdrawing his EP candidacy. (PHOTO: Facebook page of the OĽaNO movement, Slovakia)

Igor Matovič, the leader of Slovakia's "Ordinary People and Independent Figures" movement (OĽaNO), has withdrawn his candidacy in the European Parliament elections and expressed support for candidate Peter Pollák, who is in third place on the list. Of the more than 20 Romani candidates for the European Parliament running in Slovakia, Pollák is now the only one with an actual chance of eventually winning a seat there.

News server Aktuality.sk reported Matovič as saying the following:  "Slovakia is in danger of becoming a European embarrassment one week from now, headlines in big typeface could report that the Fascist party won here. I have decided to call on my voters to choose Mr Pollák."

Voters can circle just two candidates per ballot during the EP elections. "Those of you who wanted to circle my name, please make sure you vote for Pollák instead and also choose any of the other 12 candidates on the party list," Matovič said.

The chair also informed the head of the OĽaNO club in the legislature, Slovak MP Veronika Remišová, of his decision. The Party of the Romani Coalition (SRK) has also removed its only candidate from the elections and, just like Matovič, has called on their voters to cast ballots for Pollák.

"In a context of growing extremism and Fascism, the SRK feels a responsibility for the outcome of the European Parliament elections. Our priority is to focus Romani votes on benefiting the [Romani] candidate who has the biggest chance of succeeding in these elections," SRK chair Gejza Adam said.

Elections to the EP in Slovakia, unlike those in the Czech Republic, will take place on just one day, Friday, 25 May. Voters will choose the country's 14 MEPs at that time.

According to a poll conducted at the beginning of April, the OĽaNO movement, for which Pollák is running, could win as much as 11 % of the vote. That could mean winning one or even two EP seats for the movement.

Slovak citizens who permanently reside in Slovakia have the right to vote in EP elections there, as do the citizens of any other EU Member States with permanent residency in Slovakia. The members of the EP are elected for a five-year term.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Election, European Parliament, Peter Pollák, Slovakia



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