How to legitimise an extremist party

Kotleba was helped not by the court, but by short-sighted politics.

The far-right party’s politicians have learned to iron their white collars before they go to parliament, and sugar-coat their words.The far-right party’s politicians have learned to iron their white collars before they go to parliament, and sugar-coat their words. (Source: SME)

The far-right party of Marian Kotleba has survived a court case that could have ended in its dissolution. It wouldn’t have been the first time that Kotleba and the beefy young men around him were forced to deal with the hassle of starting a new party and rebranding their activities accordingly. But for now they are not going to need that know-how.

Read also:Court failed to dissolve far-right ĽSNS Read more 

Prior to the ruling, observers were divided in their opinions. While some insisted that, provided there was legal justification, the party needed to be dissolved in order to defend the rule of law and constitutionality, others were concerned that stripping Kotleba – who is an MP – of his party would only make him seem like a martyr in the eyes of his supporters, and pour even more fuel onto the fire of his anti-system rhetoric.

Feeling legitimate

Now he has a different fuel: Kotleba and his people will perform a neat about-turn and – at least for this news cycle – go from ‘fighting’ the system, to embracing the court ruling and asserting that the system has legitimised them. Now, they will say, all of you must accept us.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Top stories

News digest: Fear and anger are prevaling emotions in Slovakia, president said

Kočner and Zsuzsová charged with planning murders. PCR tests are free for symptomatic people.


6 h
President Zuzana Caputova delivers her state of the republic address in parliament on September 27, 2021.

President Čaputová: We need to protect this world and Slovakia's place in it

In her speech about the state of the republic, the president offered a grim summary of the pandemic so far. Slovakia is in desperate need of stability.


12 h
Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury (aka Tutul)

Bratislava reminds me of Bangladesh, says exiled writer

Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury calls on the Slovak capital to help exiled writers and artists work through their trauma.


17 h
Most Slovak believe that “we” should also include foreigners, although they are quick to point out that efforts to integrate should be undertaken mainly by the foreigners themselves.

What Slovaks shouldn’t forget when they dream of the perfect foreigner

Bratislava’s mayor is right that integration is a two-way street, but even the capital still has some way to go to see foreigners as residents rather than just visitors.


27. sep
Skryť Close ad