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Right-Wing Extremist Enters Second Round of Elections for Governor in Slovakia

Extremist leader of the People’s Party – Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), Marian Kotleba, won enough votes on November 10, 2013, to push through to the second round of the race for governor in the Banská Bystrica region in central Slovakia. The result has come as a surprise to many in the country and beyond. Social-Europe.eu, a site that calls itself “the leading eJournal addressing issues of critical interest to progressives across Europe”, explains why voters seem to be turning more toward extreme right options in the country:

Of course, Slovakia had its share of nationalist politics back in the 1990s and early 2000s. The Slovak National Party (SNS) was a member of several governing coalitions – the last one formed by the presumably social-democratic Smer-SD in 2006-2010. The SNS professed a typical breed of traditionalist, highly conservative nationalism – chauvinistic, xenophobic, and much too often openly racist [...]

But this time it’s something different. In a few years Marian Kotleba rose from political obscurity to one of the two leading candidates for the governor of the regional self-government. He had no professional election campaign, no media and PR advisors, no sponsors paying for billboards, newspaper ads, public opinion polls, and god-knows-what-else is winning elections these days. Through staging rallies in Roma villages, giving public hate speeches, celebrating the WW2 Slovak fascist regime, and uncoordinated but intensive hate campaign on social media and websites, he is riding successfully on the wave of increasing intolerance and rising public anger.

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