THE RIGHT-wing Real Slovak National Party (PSNS) has launched legal action to have the ruling Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) banned for what it claims is attempts to "destroy the Slovak state".
PSNS leaders have said comments made by SMK deputy leader Miklós Duray supporting the nationalist platform of the Hungarian Fidesz (Young Democrats' Union) party prior to Hungarian elections are evidence of the entire party's support for his views.
"As deputy leader of the SMK he is a representative of the party and his remarks have convinced the Slovak public that the final aim of the SMK is the destruction of Slovak statehood and sovereignty. For this reason this party should not be allowed to exist," said PSNS leader Ján Slota.
Slovak nationalist politicians were incensed by Duray's comments at a massive Fidesz rally in Budapest in mid-April.
Duray said then that "Felvidek" - the historical Hungarian name for upper Hungary, today part of Slovakia, under the Austro-Hungarian empire - backed Fidesz leader Victor Orbán, whose nationalist rhetoric in pre-election campaigning had strained relations between Slovakia and Hungary and upset European Commission officials.
Some Slovaks still fear that Hungary harbours aspirations of renewing its claim to the lands it ruled under 'Greater Hungary' in the nineteenth century.
The SMK has distanced itself from Duray's comments, saying the MP was expressing a personal opinion at the rally.
SMK leader Béla Bugár has also dismissed the legal action as "nonsense", pronouncing it a political ploy to gain voter support.
29. Apr 2002 at 0:00 | Ed Holt