Tuesday 24 April 2018

Slovak neo-Nazi leader defeated in regional election

Marian Kotleba speaks to journalists after casting his vote (Jan Miskovsky/CTK via AP)
Marian Kotleba speaks to journalists after casting his vote (Jan Miskovsky/CTK via AP)

Slovakia's neo-Nazi parliamentary party suffered a blow after its chairman failed to get re-elected as the head of a regional government, according to results released on Sunday.

Marian Kotleba heads People's Party Our Slovakia, which openly admires the Nazi puppet state that the country was during the Second World War.

Party members use Nazi salutes, consider Nato a terror group and want the country out of the alliance and the European Union.

Four years ago Mr Kotleba shocked the country by winning in the central region of Banska Bystrica.

But in the regional election on Saturday, independent candidate Jan Lunter won the region with 48.5% of the vote, comprehensively beating Mr Kotleba, who received 23.2%, Slovakia's statistics office said.

In an unprecedented move, most ruling coalition and opposition parties agreed to support Mr Lunter to try to defeat Mr Kotleba, whose party has had 14 members in the 150-seat parliament since last year's parliamentary election.

Slovakia's prosecutor general also asked the Supreme Court in May to ban the party after allegations that its goal was to destroy the country's democratic system.

Slovakia has eight regions. The results from Saturday's election were also a blow for the Smer-Social Democracy of Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Hit by corruption scandals, Mr Fico's party only won in two regions, down from six they claimed in the 2013 vote.

AP

Press Association

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