Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

VÚC VOTE: Far-right leader Kotleba wins in Banská Bystrica

VOTERS in the Banská Bystrica Region have elected Marian Kotleba, who has a history of racist statements and acts, to lead the self-governing region, known by Slovaks under the acronym VÚC. Kotleba of the People’s Party – Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), picked up 55.6 percent in the second round run-off and thus defeated Vladimír Maňka, backed by Smer, KDH, SMK, Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), Movement for Democracy and the Green Party, who collected 44.3 percent, according to unofficial results published by the Slovak Statistics Office.

VOTERS in the Banská Bystrica Region have elected Marian Kotleba, who has a history of racist statements and acts, to lead the self-governing region, known by Slovaks under the acronym VÚC. Kotleba of the People’s Party – Our Slovakia (ĽSNS), picked up 55.6 percent in the second round run-off and thus defeated Vladimír Maňka, backed by Smer, KDH, SMK, Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), Movement for Democracy and the Green Party, who collected 44.3 percent, according to unofficial results published by the Slovak Statistics Office.

Kotleba finished as the regional councillor with the single biggest voter support in the whole country in absolute numbers in the first round.

Prime Minister Robert Fico blamed right-wing parties for Kotleba’s success in the first-round, arguing that they were unable to pick a strong enough candidate to face Maňka. Political analysts however suggested that it was partly anti-Roma sentiments and partly the legitimisation of nationalist discourse by Fico’s first government that fuelled the success of Kotleba of ĽSNS.

Beating the opposition candidate of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) Ľudovít Kaník, Kotleba advanced into the November 23 second round with more than 21 percent of the vote.

Kotleba, originally a secondary school teacher, is well-known on the margins of the Slovak political scene. He founded and led the Slovenská Pospolitosť (Slovak Togetherness) far-right political party, which was later banned by the Interior Ministry and existed only as a civic organisation. He frequently organised and participated in anti-Roma demonstrations or marches commemorating the Nazi-allied wartime Slovak state and its president Jozef Tiso. He has been detained and charged repeatedly for crimes including racial defamation.

Observers originally had said that they saw almost no chance for Kotleba to succeed in the second round against the Smer candidate, but nonetheless found his strong showing disturbing.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Kuciak did not even have a computer as a child and he grew up to be an analyst

A village boy who angered Marian Kocner. A profile of Ján Kuciak, who recently received the White Crow award in memoriam.

Ján Kuciak

UPDATED: Lajčák considers resignation if the migration compact is rejected

The foreign affairs minister also admitted to some disputes with PM Robert Fico.

Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák

How to cope with waste

Slovakia lags behind in recycling and reducing waste, but examples of other countries, particularly the Netherlands, are helping Slovakia implement strategies to reduce waste.

Roughly 67 percent of communal waste ended up at landfills in Slovakia, while only 23 percent was recycled.

Europe might not be just an innocent victim

While real estate bubbles in the US, Greece and Spain were partial causes of global crisis, irresponsible lending was also rife in places you hear little about.