Nationalist leaders butt callused heads

THE LEADERS of Slovakia's two nationalist opposition parties, Ján Slota and Anna Malíková, have been unable to agree on uniting their forces for September parliamentary elections, making it possible neither will capture enough votes to enter the legislature.
After a meeting July 1, the pair emerged visibly shaken and angered from talks that had been expected to yield a political compromise following their high-profile split last year.
Slota said he had delayed a critical meeting of his Real Slovak National Party (PSNS) until after talks with Malíková, head of the Slovak National Party (SNS), at which he expected the two to decide a common candidates' list for elections. But when Malíková, apparently confident her SNS could gain the five per cent of votes each party needs for seats in parliament, offered Slota and the PSNS only unelectable spots on the list, the meeting ended in fiasco and a tense two-minute press conference.

THE LEADERS of Slovakia's two nationalist opposition parties, Ján Slota and Anna Malíková, have been unable to agree on uniting their forces for September parliamentary elections, making it possible neither will capture enough votes to enter the legislature.

After a meeting July 1, the pair emerged visibly shaken and angered from talks that had been expected to yield a political compromise following their high-profile split last year.

Slota said he had delayed a critical meeting of his Real Slovak National Party (PSNS) until after talks with Malíková, head of the Slovak National Party (SNS), at which he expected the two to decide a common candidates' list for elections. But when Malíková, apparently confident her SNS could gain the five per cent of votes each party needs for seats in parliament, offered Slota and the PSNS only unelectable spots on the list, the meeting ended in fiasco and a tense two-minute press conference.

"It was a kick in the head and she even spat in our faces," said Slota, who was offered the 30th spot on the 150-member list. "She said if I refused it she would start by breaking a chicken's egg over my head, and then see what next."

Slota also accused Malíková of creating a "threatening atmosphere" by bringing four bodyguards into the meet and locking the doors.

Malíková replied that she had only brought along the large young men to ensure "order", and said she had never threatened to use the two painted eggs she carried in a pouch against Slota.

Slota's party mates were offered spots 140 through 150 on the mutual candidates list. For them to be elected, the joint party would have to score virtually 100 per cent in elections. The SNS has recently shown over five per cent support, the PSNS just over three.

Malíková has said Slota could improve his position before an SNS meeting later this month to finalise the line-up. The fiery nationalist leader, meanwhile, has said he has "no intention" of meeting again with Malíková.

"If she could, she would like to be chairman of the northern hemisphere," said Slota of Malíková in an interview with the Plus 7 Dní weekly earlier this year. "She wants to lead a country? At the most she should run a public washroom and give out toilet paper. That's something she might manage."

Malíková, on the other hand, has called Slota a "Slovak nouveau riche" who "acts like a mafia man", and said that meeting with her former party chairman would be like "spitting in the eyes of all Slovaks in regions with 30 to 50 per cent unemployment."

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