Marian Kotleba

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Marian Kotleba
Marian Kotleba.jpg
Governor of Banská Bystrica Region
In office
24 November 2013 – 4 December 2017
Prime Minister Robert Fico
Preceded by Vladimír Maňka
Succeeded by Ján Lunter
Personal details
Born (1977-04-07) 7 April 1977 (age 41)
Banská Bystrica, Czechoslovakia
(now Slovakia)
Political party Kotleba – People's Party Our Slovakia
(Kotleba – Ľudová strana Naše Slovensko)
Spouse(s) Frederika Pospíšilová
Alma mater Matej Bel University

Marian Kotleba (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈmariaŋ ˈkotleba];[1] born 7 April 1977) is a Slovak politician and leader of the far-right Kotleba – People's Party Our Slovakia political party. (Slovak: Kotleba – Ľudová strana Naše Slovensko).[2] He has since 24 November 2013 served as the Governor of Banská Bystrica Region. He was defeated in the Slovak regional elections, 2017.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Banska Bystrica in what was then Czechoslovakia, Kotleba attended the local Jozef Murgas High School before enrolling at the Sports Grammar School (Slovak: Športové gymnázium Banská Bystrica) specialising in sports. After finishing the Grammar School he enrolled at the Matej Bel University receiving a Master's Degree in Pedagogics, later he once again enrolled at the Economics faculty at the same university and graduated with a master's degree in Economics.[3]

Political views[edit]

Banner at the Banská Bystrica administration building put up by Kotleba,[4] ‘Yankees go home! Stop NATO!’

Marian Kotleba holds views considered extremist,[5][6] although he was never prosecuted for extremism (according to §140a of the Slovak criminal law). He is supportive of Jozef Tiso and the First Slovak Republic,[7][8] and he is openly against Roma people,[9][10] Slovak National Uprising,[11][12] NATO, the United States and the European Union.[13] According to Hospodárske noviny, his position on the Holocaust is unclear.[14] The BBC[15] and The Economist have described him as a neo-Nazi.[16]

Political career[edit]

In 2003, Kotleba founded the far-right political party 'Slovak Togetherness' (Slovak: Slovenská Pospolitosť). In 2007 the Slovak interior ministry banned the party from running and campaigning in elections, however it still functioned as a civic organisation. In 2009 he ran for the post of Governor of the Banská Bystrica region and received 10% of the votes. In the 2013 local elections he ran again and this time received approximately 20% of the votes, thereby securing a run-off against favourite Vladimír Maňka. Kotleba won the run-off by receiving 55% of the votes.[15]

Kotleba's win was described as a "shock" by political analysts, who attributed it to deep anti-Romani sentiments in the region.[17] Observers originally had said that they saw almost no chance for Kotleba to succeed in the second round against Maňka, but nonetheless found his strong showing "disturbing".[18]

Prior to the 2016 elections to the National Council, he renamed his party Ľudová strana Naše Slovensko (English: People's Party Our Slovakia) to Kotleba - Ľudová strana Naše Slovensko. Despite the polls suggesting the 1.5–3.5% gain of votes, the party rocketed to the parliament with a gain of over 8% of the vote. Despite elements of Neo-Nazism, the post-electoral polls suggest that his success was a result of dissatisfaction with the running of Slovakia and was seen as a protest vote against the ruling Smer - Sociálna demokracia and the fractured right. It was also linked to the fall of the Christian Democratic Movement, as the Christian conservative party and the European migrant crisis.

He was defeated in the Slovak regional elections of 2017 by an independent candidate, Ján Lunter.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ In isolation, Marian is pronounced [ˈmarian].
  2. ^ "TA3 pozvala do živého vysielania Mariana Kotlebu". Ta3. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Extremist Kotleba wins 20% of vote in regional elections". The Daily.sk. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Daniel Vražda (2014-08-29). "Kotleba vyvesil v Bystrici transparent Stop NATO" [In Bystrica, Kotleba put up a banner saying Stop NATO]. Naša Bystrica (SME) (in Slovak). Petit Press, a.s. Retrieved 2016-03-11. 
  5. ^ Martina Pažitková (2013-11-26). "Je Kotleba neonacista, neofašista alebo extrémista?" [Is Kotleba a neo-Nazi, a neo-fascist or an extremist?]. SME (in Slovak). Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  6. ^ "Kotleba je dnes pre Fica extrémista. Protirómskou agendou kedysi sám bodoval" [For Fico, Kotleba is an extremist. Previously, he scored points on Anti-Roma agenda himself]. Trend (in Slovak). 2013-11-25. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  7. ^ TASR (2014-05-15). "Kotlebov mesačník Náš kraj v máji nevyjde, stále ho skúma polícia" [Kotleba's monthly "Our country" won't be published in May, police investigation is under way]. SME (in Slovak). Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  8. ^ odu (2014-04-08). "Kotleba zneužil župné noviny pred eurovoľbami" [Kotleba abused local administration newspaper before Europarliament elections]. Pravda. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  9. ^ "Marián Kotleba: Štát chráni cigánskych parazitov" [Marián Kotleba: State protects gypsy parasites]. Aktuality.sk (in Slovak). 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  10. ^ Ondrej Kubovič (2013-11-24). "Vedia koho volili? S Kotlebom sa spája extrémizmus aj oslava Slovakštátu" [Do they know who they voted for? Kotleba associates with extremism and the First Slovak State celebrations]. Aktuálne.sk (in Slovak). Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  11. ^ TASR (2014-01-09). "Kotleba nesúhlasil s prezidentom. Nechcel mu však oponovať" [Kotleba disagreed with the president; didn't want to oppose him though]. Hospodárske noviny (in Slovak). Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  12. ^ TASR (2014-01-09). "Šéfovia krajov sa u prezidenta nezhodli s Kotlebom na téme SNP" [Regions' heads didn't agree with Kotleba regarding the Slovak National Uprising during the meeting with the president]. Pravda (in Slovak). Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  13. ^ TASR (2014-01-31). "Neustupujte teroristom, hrozí vám diktát Bruselu, píše Kotleba Janukovyčovi". Hospodárske noviny (in Slovak). Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  14. ^ Mária Hunková (2013-11-18). "Politický život Mariana Kotlebu v skratke : Rómovia sú paraziti a SNP puč. Na stráž!". Hospodárske noviny (in Slovak). Retrieved 2014-09-05. 
  15. ^ a b "Slovak 'neo-Nazi' wins election in Banska Bystrica". BBC. 2013-11-25. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  16. ^ "A neo-Nazi wins". The Economist (published 2013-11-28). 2013. Retrieved 2016-02-22. 
  17. ^ "UPDATED: Five remaining regional leaders elected; extremist wins in Banská Bystrica". Slovakspectator. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  18. ^ "Far-right leader Kotleba wins in Banská Bystrica". Slovakspectator. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  19. ^ Washington Post