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Top politicians will be absent from 2nd Rainbow Pride march, but larger turnout is expected

Both Prime Minister Iveta Radičová and Speaker of Parliament Richard Sulík will miss the second gay pride march to be held in Bratislava. The Dúhový (Rainbow) Pride Parade takes place this weekend, on Saturday June 4, and several politicians who openly declare their advocacy of minority rights have so far failed to find time for the event.

Both Prime Minister Iveta Radičová and Speaker of Parliament Richard Sulík will miss the second gay pride march to be held in Bratislava. The Dúhový (Rainbow) Pride Parade takes place this weekend, on Saturday June 4, and several politicians who openly declare their advocacy of minority rights have so far failed to find time for the event.

About one thousand protesters want to call attention to their problems by marching through the capital’s streets. Radičová's spokesman Rado Baťo told the Sme daily that the prime minister will be busy in eastern Slovakia; Sulík said he would probably not make it on the weekend. He added, however, that other politicians from his Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party would attend.

The march will be accompanied by tough security measures after last year’s inaugural event was attacked by extremist groups. As a result, it ended prematurely. This year, even more participants are expected. Romana Schlesinger, one of the organisers, expects extremists to try again to interrupt it and demonstrate their opinions in what she called a vulgar manner. However, she said that organisers have done all they can to prevent such groups from halting the parade.

The march will start on June 4 from Hviezdoslavovo Square and this year is being supported by Bratislava Mayor Milan Ftáčnik. Deputy Prime Minister for Minorities Rudolf Chmel is also expected to deliver a speech.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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