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Two Roma parties likely to field candidates in the March elections

After the Roma Initiative of Slovakia (RIS) announced that it will participate in the parliamentary elections next March, the Roma Union Party of Slovakia (SRÚ) announced it will do the same, the SITA newswire reported.

After the Roma Initiative of Slovakia (RIS) announced that it will participate in the parliamentary elections next March, the Roma Union Party of Slovakia (SRÚ) announced it will do the same, the SITA newswire reported.

The chairman of SRÚ, František Tanko, told SITA that his party does not plan to run independently but prefers to ally itself with other political parties representing the Roma community. Three Roma political parties are currently registered in Slovakia. The third one, the Roma Coalition Party led by Gejza Adam, has not yet announced whether it will participate in the elections.

Tanko urged Roma parties to cooperate with each other, warning that otherwise their chance of success is very slim. SRÚ has already started negotiations with RIS chairman Václav Kappel but the outcome of a RIS congress to be held in late November should make it clearer whether the parties will join together for the elections.

SRÚ stated it wants to offer a programme aimed at employment and education of the younger generation. "We want to actively contribute to revival of Roma. Their situation is unsustainable," Tanko told SITA.

RIS stated it would welcome it if the actual number of Roma in Slovakia was reflected in the election outcome but added that the party does not want to be overly ambitious. The party has started preparing its slate and has a nominating congress planned for late November. Slovakia’s Interior Ministry registered SRÚ as a political party on November 30, 2010.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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