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Slovak MP "symbolically" declares himself Romani in official online profile

7.4.2016 14:04
Slovak legislator Ondrej Dostál has
Slovak legislator Ondrej Dostál has "symbolically" chosen Romani nationality in an official online profile. (Photo: Romea.cz)

Ondrej Dostál, a legislator seated on the National Council of the Slovak Republic who chairs the Civic Conservative Party, has "symbolically" chosen "Romani" as his nationality when filling out his official online profile for the legislature. The Markíza television station reports that Dostál also listed his nationality as "Romani" during the census for the same reason.

"According to Article 12 of the Slovak Constitution, everyone has the right to freely decide their nationality. I have taken advantage of that," he told the Markíza interviewers.

"I consider it important for national minorities, including such a large national minority as the Roma, to be represented in the National Council," he said when asked why he made the choice. A reporter for TV Markíza also asked Ľudovít Gunár, head of a particular group of Roma from the community of Krásnohorské Podhradie in Rožňava, what his opinion was of the legislator's move.

"It's rather presumptuous to do something like that, but in my opinion it's a good gesture," Gunár said. Peter Pollák, a member of the Romani minority, had been seated in the Slovak legislature prior to the March elections.

Pollák was not re-elected and also announced to the Government that he would be stepping down from the position of Plenipotentiary on Romani Community Affairs. Speaking at a press conference, he said he did not want to perform the job for a Government from which he does not feel political support for the Plenipotentiary's mission. 

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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národnostní menšina, Parlament, Romani people, Slovakia, Soužití, Zmocněnec



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