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.

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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.

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