Slovakian far-right party facing ban

The far-right L'SNS founded by Marian Kotleba is facing the prospect of becoming the first party elected to the Slovakian parliament to be banned. Kotleba's first party, Slovak Togetherness, was also banned. Legally a ban would be the right move, Slovakian journalists believe. But would that be the end of the right-wing extremists, whom current polls rank as the country's third-strongest political force?

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Sme (SK) /

Worse than Le Pen and Jobbik

The L'SNS is plainly a fascist party and should therefore be banned, Sme concludes:

“The party has clearly fascist tendencies. Its supporters celebrate the regime of the independent clerical fascists in Slovakia during World War II, deny the Holocaust, cynically mock its victims and blatantly fuel hostility and hatred of other religions and ethnic groups. … Such a party, which is clearly far worse than Le Pen's Front National in France or Jobbik in Hungary, has no place in Slovakia or in any civilised country. This was also the case with the first group led by Kotleba. The latter's dissolution prompted its members to soften their brand strategy. The movement donned the guise of an anti-system party. … No one can prevent the founding of a party. But hiding a swastika under the party uniform is not permitted. And that's not up for debate.”

Dennik N (SK) /

Stop the Nazis with sound arguments

Regardless of whether banning a party is right or wrong, extremism is best combatted in daily life, Dennik N believes:

“One party led by Kotleba has already been dissolved. But that hastened rather than hindered his rise from regional politics to parliament. This doesn't mean the prosecutor general's bid to ban the party is wrong. The prosecution, police and judiciary must abide by the law, not political considerations. And the party demonstrably violates the law. Moreover, the party wasn't successful in the elections simply because its predecessor was once banned. ... The former governing parties welcomed the ban but did everything to ensure that its ideology survived. Banning extremists may seem like the simplest solution, but it has little impact. More effective is to fight extremism on a day-to-day basis.”