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Petranský loses ballot for Nation's Memory Institute

THE LEGISLATURE rejected Ján Petranský, the candidate of the ruling Slovak National Party (SNS), for the post of chairman of the Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN) yesterday after it was revealed he had met with the leader of a neo-Nazi movement.

Petranský, who had been expected to win the seat following an agreement between the ruling parties, was compromised by information released shortly before the secret ballot that in 2005 he had participated in a conference on the Slovak wartime state, where he met with Slovak Archbishop Ján Sokol and the head of a neo-Nazi movement called Slovak Togetherness, Marián Kotleba.

Petranský said he attended the conference because he wanted to listen to “a lecture by a young Slovak historian”.

“I condemn Slovak Togetherness,” he said, adding that his election had been deliberately sabotaged, the Pravda daily wrote.

The UPN administers and publishes documents on crimes committed during Slovakia's two totalitarian regimes - the fascist state from 1938 to 1945, and the communist regime from 1948 to 1989. For this reason, the UPN chief cannot be seen as sympathetic to either regime.

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