When the extremist People's Party - Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) succeeded in the last elections to parliament, Robert Fico, leader of the ruling party Smer, boasted that 'My government is the dam against extremism.'
But as soon as Fico and his party needed votes to push their interests forward, the extremist MP Marian Kotleba and his party the ĽSNS came in handy. Political analysts Pavol Baboš and Aneta Világi agree that Smer's relationship with the extremists is, above all, driven by pragmatism.
A sack of potatoes
"Even a sack of potatoes could defeat Mr Kotleba," said Fico about the ĽSNS leader in November 2013. At that time, Smer's nominee Vladimír Maňka, alongside Kotleba, had made it to the second round of the regional elections.