Slovakia’s Hungarian party may join coalition with racist anti-Hungarian extremists

In a macabre turn of events, the disastrous results of Slovakia’s parliamentary elections mean that the country’s main Hungarian party, called Híd (Bridge), may end up in an unruly right-wing coalition government with none other than the anti-Hungarian and racist Slovak National Party (SNS – Slovenská národná strana). We provided an analysis of the disturbing results of the Slovak elections in HFP this past Sunday, and we’re now returning to this topic, as Prime Minister Robert Fico’s populist left-centre SMER party lost its majority in parliament and is finding it next to impossible to cobble together a coalition government. As such, the ball is now in the court of the second place Richard Sulík, of the centre-right, anti-migrant and mildly euro-skeptic Freedom and Solidarity party (SAS – Sloboda a Solidarita)

But the only way for Mr. Sulík to form government is to get five other parties on board, including both the Hungarian Híd (which won 6.5% of the vote) and the xenophobic, frequently anti-Hungarian SNS party (8.7%). Béla Bugár, the leader of Híd, has been pretty laconic in the 48 hours since the election, noting not only his own party’s poor result, but also the fact that over 100,000 Hungarian votes were “wasted,” considering the fact the Híd’s rival, the Party of the Hungarian Community (MKP – Magyar Közösség Pártja), once again failed to reach the 5% hurdle required for parliamentary representation. MKP, which campaigned with the support of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz, declared it a compulsory patriotic duty of all “good” Hungarians in Slovakia to vote for the MKP, and openly suggested that Híd was a traitor to the cause of nearly half a million ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia.

The results of Slovakia's parliamentary elections in southern regions and communities where ethnic Hungarians compose at least 10% of the local population. The green represents municipalities where the MKP came out on top, while the orange is representative of localities where the Híd party garnered the most Hungarian votes. It should be noted that Híd also manages to win the votes of some ethnic Slovaks, and this is not reflected on this map. Credit: Felvidék.ma

The results of Slovakia’s parliamentary elections in southern regions and communities where ethnic Hungarians comprise at least 10% of the local population. The green represents municipalities where the MKP came out on top, while the orange is representative of localities where the Híd party garnered the most Hungarian votes. It should be noted that Híd also manages to win the votes of some ethnic Slovaks, and this is not reflected on this map. Credit: Felvidék.ma

The MKP’s leader, József Berényi, has since resigned, but it is Mr. Bugár who is now left with the entirely unenviable position of being the kingmaker in a coalition that includes far-right extremists who see the ethnic Hungarians of southern Slovakia as a threat to the Slovak nation. Mr. Bugár is also faced with incredible vitriol on his Facebook page, from Slovak nationalists who claim to be “disenchanted” and “disappointed” with Mr. Bugár, for his understandable hesitation to enter into a coalition with the anti-Hungarian far-right.

“I thought that you represent a pragmatic party and that you are a citizen of Slovakia. It turns out that you are just a Hungarian living in Slovakia,” commented one Facebook user on Mr. Bugár’s page, according to a piece in the Hungarian-language Új Szó paper.

Béla Bugár

Béla Bugár

Gábor Grendel, an ethnic Hungarian politician affiliated with the conservative Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party (Obyčajní Ľudia a nezávislé osobnosti — OĽaNO), agrees that entering into a coalition with the racist SNS is still the lesser of two evils. “There is simply no good solution, but having a right-wing coalition is still better than any other end result. And it is certainly better than early elections, in which [the neo-Nazi] Marian Kotleba would gain even more votes,” argued Mr. Grendel. The ethnic Hungarian politician was  referring to the disturbing entry into parliament of the openly neo-Nazi L’SNS party, with 8.1% of the vote. 

The anti-Hungarian SNS, now led by Andrej Danko, is no longer as extreme as it once was under its previous leader, Jan Slota. Back in 1999, Mr. Slota called for the destruction of Budapest, using Slovak tanks. In 2006, Mr. Slota also referred to ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia as “a cancerous tumor on the body of the Slovak nation, which has to be removed as soon as possible.”

The current SNS leader, and many other leading politicians in the party, were already active politically when Mr. Slota made these statements, and the party has never formally distanced itself from its rabidly racist past.

If Mr. Sulík convinces the Hungarians and the anti-Hungarians to join his coalition, then the six parties that form part of this pact would control 76 out of 150 seats in Slovakia’s parliament. That’s just barely a majority. Perhaps Mr. Bugár and his Hungarian counterparts would not have to suffer for long in this type of arrangement after all, as the longevity of such a government is questionable, to say the least.

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7 Comments

  1. Avatar Charlie London says:

    My bet is that it won’t be possible to form a coalition.

    Orban is again interfering in surrounding Sovereign countries – imagine what Szijjártó would say if the roles were reversed?

    I think it’s a hoot that ‘Orban’s’ MKP failed to get the threshold vote!

    Expect to see Orban’s football stadiums radically ‘modified’ when Slovakia play Hungary at home.

    (I can’t believe I said that! I don’t do football!)

    • Avatar Christopher Adam says:

      Charlie,

      That’s my bet and gut feeling too. In fact, the SNS extremists are already balking at the idea of joining a coalition with a minority party and are apparently open to working with the left – Fico’s Smer – instead. It says a lot about the left in Slovakia as well, that they are even open to this…

      About Orbán: he’s playing the same game in Romania as well, where he has repeatedly supported (and financially propped up) a party that has been repeatedly rejected by the local Hungarian minority in Romania. And now in Slovakia, Hungarians have for the third time given the cold shoulder to Orbán’s favoured party, siding instead with the more moderate and centrist Hid.

  2. The present events are somewhat worrying but I have many old friends from Slovakia and they say the Slovaks always hated the Hungarians and wanted to oust them. That’s not new. Many years ago I went there with my Hungarian friends and personally experienced that hatred.

    Why??? They requested the Hungarians to give up their Hungarian identity, language and fully assimilate.

    Well, you see, the same problem. That happens all over the world and if they refuse to fully assimilate they run into problems. Except the Muslims. They come and we run into problems if we don’t convert to Islam and obey their Sharia. Even now when they only make up the 10% of the European population.

    And, the good 80% of the world live in misery, starving, sick without medical attention they live in filth and eat their own feces and may I ask it is so and if Hungarians are discriminated and requested to fully assimilate or die and the 80% of the world is suffering why the Muslim migrants to Europe enjoy special status? Why are they so special?

    Did the 120 000 000 Chinese massacred by Mao enjoyed that status, and the many other millions? Brigitte Gabriel was mistaken it was 120 000 000. Were they welcomed and allowed to rape and be engaged in violent acts and build their out of law districts like Muslims?

    The Muslims can do anything in Europe and that few Hungarians in Slovakia nothing?

    We are talking about fascism, right wing but what about the Islam radicals? Wouldn’t this deserve a sober unbiased analysis?
    Fascism is a little kid a toddler to Islam radicalism.

    Where is the real danger, who hurts who? Brigitte Gabriel the Founder, the President and the CEO of ACTI knows the answer.

    This is not an isolated problem of the Hungarians there and will never be resolved until handled like that.

  3. Rotten piece.

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