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Reader feedback: Healthy for democracy?

Independent MP to join Lintner's ANO Caucus, Flash News, September 19

[Independent MP] Herman Arvay is a very peculiar character. Under the Communist regime before 1989 he was forbidden to travel and lost his passport for a number of years. When he got his passport back he emigrated to the US before returning, as he puts it, for family reasons. He went into the advertising business.

It's not what you'd expect from a Communist MP. He only entered the Communist party a year before the elections and seems to have imagined that he and some "young enthusiasts" could take it over and make a modern left wing party without having to kiss [Smer party leader] Robert Fico's feet.

This was a bit naive and after the elections the Stalinist dinosaurs reared their heads and Arvay went independent.

Recently he's been trying to set up a "Party of the Minorities". The party aims to unite all the minorities in Slovakia such as the Roma, the Ruthenians and even smaller groups like Greeks and Bulgarians. He came up with the slogan: "Different is not worse". I wonder what this move [joining Lintner's group] means for that?

For me this story again illustrates the paradox of Slovak MPs. They have a fair amount of power to influence legislation but what is their mandate? Who do they represent? Parties do not produce their own MPs or ministers but seem to hire them or so-called "experts" insert themselves in parliament and when things are on a knife edge, as they are now, such "freelancers" take on a greatly undeserved importance.

I'm not sure if this is healthy for democracy in Slovakia.

Roger Heyes,
Žilina

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