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Slovakia: Neo-Fascist party being investigated by Prosecutor-General, could be banned

1.5.2016 19:32
Marian Kotleba wearing the logo of his
Marian Kotleba wearing the logo of his "People's Party Our Slovakia", which is very similar to the emblem of the WWII-era Hlinka Guard, the militia maintained by the Slovak People's Party in the period from 1938 to 1945, when Slovakia was a client state of Nazi Germany. (PHOTO: Wikipedia.org).

The Slovak ultra-right party called "Kotleba-Lidová strana Naše Slovensko" (Kotleba-People's Party Our Slovakia or K-LSNS), which was responsible for the biggest surprise result in the country's recent Parliamentary elections, is now facing a possible ban. The Prosecutor-General has begun to investigate its activity after being called upon to do so by the Human Rights Institute, which filed a motion for the party, which now holds 11 seats in the legislature, to be dissolved.

Online news server Aktuality.sk reported the opening of the investigation on 29 April. The Institute turned to the Prosecutor-General after Kotleba's party received 8 % of the vote in the March elections.

The Institute called on the Prosecutor-General to investigate the party's activity and then file a motion with the Supreme Court for it to be dissolved. Marian Kotleba is also the Governor of the Banská Bystrica Region, and the Institute's move has public support.

"More than 20 000 people have expressed support for this online. The fact that this party made it into Parliament in a formally democratic way does not alter the fact that it is undemocratic through and through," said Peter Weisenbacher, Executive Director of the Human Rights Institute.

The Prosecutor-General said that by mid-March his office had received 160 separate motions calling for Kotleba's party to be dissolved. The proposals pointed out that the party is identical to another one that was previously dissolved by the courts because it was unconstitutional.

That was the "Slovak Solidarity-National Party", which was dissolved in March 2006. It then continued its activities as a civic association.

The people around that association later helped Kotleba give birth to the party that has just joined Parliament. Many politicians have called his party a neo-Nazi one, but the K-LSNS rejects that label.

The party is against Slovakia's membership in NATO and has improved its approval rating since the elections. According to a poll conducted by the AKO agency at the beginning of April, it has become the fourth most popular party in the country with an approval rating of 10.9 %.  

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Kotleba, Nacionalismus, Politika, Slovakia



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