Hungarian Deputy Foreign Minister Zsolt Németh directly interfered in the Slovak general election by recommending that the Hungarian minority in Slovakia vote for the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) in Saturday’s vote, Most-Híd chairman Béla Bugár complained on Wednesday, March 7. Bugár is himself a native Hungarian-speaker and his party is in direct competition with the SMK for the votes of the Hungarian minority.
Bugár was speaking in reaction to a speech by Németh on Tuesday at Budapest’s Corvinus University. Németh stated that the Hungarian government views it as desirable to have the SMK in the Slovak Parliament. He argued that a vital condition for preservation of the Hungarians in Slovakia is the existence of a system of Hungarian institutions.
"When it comes to the rights of the ethnic-Hungarian minority in Slovakia, it was this [Slovak] government that took a big step forward," Bugár told the TASR newswire, pointing to the outgoing centre-right government that his Most-Híd party has been a part of.
Slovak National Party (SNS) chairman Ján Slota, reacting to Németh’s speech, also protested against what he called an "international aggression and violation of all moral principles, which cannot be excused in any way".
The SMK failed to win enough votes at the 2010 election to enter parliament, and most recent opinion polls have suggested it will suffer the same in this year’s election.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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