Slovak fascist party has a problem: A second MP charged with insulting Romani people, court could disband it
The Slovak Police have charged a second MP from the fascist Kotleba-People's Party Our Slovakia (Lidová strana Naše Slovensko - LSNS) for making xenophobic remarks. After first accusing Slovak MP Stanislav Mizík on Thursday, 27 April, detectives also charged his party colleague Milan Mazurek the next day.
The pluska.sk web portal announced the news on Saturday, 29 April, referring to a statement by the head of the elite police unit in charge of the investigations, Peter Hraško. Mazurek is accused of insulting Romani people and of alleging that Muslim migrants pose a danger to the country.
In addition, the Prosecutor-General of the Slovak Republic is reviewing how it could dissolve the fascist party entirely. "He is charged with committing felony defamation, incitement and making threats against persons because of their ancestry, ethnic group, nation, nationality, race or skin color," Hraško said of Mazurek.
Police are charging the politician, according to pluska.sk, for making the remarks last year on a commercial radio station program. The MP spoke, among other things, about ethnic Romani people in terms of their alleged inadaptability, vandalism, violence and welfare enrollments, insulting them and also mentioning the danger allegedly posed to Slovakia by Islamic migrants.
The Slovak broadcast licensing council fined the radio station EUR 15 000 for broadcasting Mazurek's statements because the commercial, regional radio station broke the law, which bans the dissemination of content inciting hatred on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, religion or belief. Mazurek, according to pluska.sk, faces a stricter punishment than Mizík, who was accused of having investigated the ethnic origins of the persons awarded high state honors by Slovak President Andrej Kiska in January and of raising as suspicious the fact that some were Jewish.
Slovak MPs have not enjoyed general immunity from prosecution for almost five years now. Legislators there still cannot be prosecuted for remarks they make on the floor of the legislature or for votes they cast.
Mazurek and Mizík are infamous for their controversial statements. The Slovak Parliament voted to fine both MPs EUR 1 000 each at the beginning of April for disgusting remarks they made on the floor of the legislature about the religion of Islam.
Prosecutor-General reviewing how to dissolve the LSNS
The Slovak Prosecutor-General is reviewing a motion to dissolve the entire party. "We have 169 recorded submissions suggesting the dissolution of the LSNS political party. The current state of the investigation does not make it possible for us to provide more detailed information about our specific steps," spokesperson Andrea Predajňová told news server Nový čas.
Kotleba's previous "Slovak Solidarity" (Slovenská pospolitost) movement was dissolved in 2006. "That movement had items on its program that were incompatible with the Constitution," said Radovan Bránik, who studies the issue of extremism.
The expert believes that when Kotleba established his current party, he and his followers paid more attention and did not put any "toxic matters" into its program, or at least, not on paper. "These are the same people with the same program and the same mental equipment, but formally speaking, they are unassailable. Dissolution is only possible in a case where the prosecutor can base such a decision on specific actions," the expert said.
Bránik also said he sees another problem as being that even if the court were to ban the party, Kotleba and his followers already have enough leverage available to them to keep them in the political game. "In the register of political parties there are another three parties over which Kotleba has a direct impact. Those are the backup for the LSNS in case it is dissolved - they will jump from the banned party into a clean one," the expert claims.
Neo-Nazis from the Workers Party in the Czech Republic proceeded similarly when their party was dissolved at the beginning of 2010 - their members immediately took advantage of another party and are continuing under the name of the Workers Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS). The LSNS, under the leadership of Marian Kotleba, who is now the Governor of the Banská Bystrica Region, surprisingly succeeded during last year's parliamentary elections, in which they won 8 % of the vote and occupied 14 seats in the 150-member Slovak Parliament.
The party makes no secret of its sympathies for the wartime Slovak State, which was an ally of Nazi Germany. The LSNS is also against Romani people and has collected signatures for a referendum on Slovakia leaving the EU and NATO.
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