Slovakia Election: Far Right Wins First Seats

Reuters, March 6, 2016

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The People’s party–Our Slovakia group led by Marian Kotleba, the governor of central Slovakia who has organised marches against the Roma minority, took 8% of the vote, nearly three times more than polls had predicted.

Slovakia’s prime minister, Robert Fico, won Saturday’s parliamentary election, nearly complete results showed. {snip}

If Fico fails to put together a government led by his leftist Smer party, a group of centre-right parties could try to form a broad, but possibly unstable, anti-Fico coalition in a repeat of the 2010 election.

Fico, a leftist whose anti-immigration and socially conservative views are in line with neighbours Poland and Hungary, took 28.3% of the vote, far ahead of others but less than he had hoped for.

Analysts say the far right capitalised on the anti-immigration rhetoric from most mainstream parties including Fico.

“Robert Fico has taken one of the toughest attitudes to the migration crisis among EU politicians but the result was not extremists under control but extremists in the parliament,” Dalibor Rohac from the American Enterprise Institute said.

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His party rejects suggestions of links with Nazi ideology and focuses on criticism of the European Union and Nato.

“We are not fascists or neo-Nazis although we might appear extremist compared to other lukewarm parties,” one of its newly elected lawmakers, Milan Uhrik, said. “We will stay in opposition for now, but I believe that if there’s a snap election we will win by a landslide.”

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