(JTA) – A neo-Nazi party in Slovakia won seats in the nation’s parliament for the first time.
In the results of Saturday’s national elections announced Sunday, the People’s Party-Our Slovakia garnered 8 per cent of the vote, three times more than expected, which is equal to 14 seats. The country’s parliament, the National Council, has 150 members.
Party chairman Marian Kotleba had led the neo-Nazi Slovak Togetherness-National Party, a banned party that organized anti-Roma rallies and was sympathetic to the Slovak Nazi puppet state during World War II, The Associated Press reported.
“We have elected a fascist to parliament,” Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak said of Kotleba, who has referred to NATO as a “criminal organization” and spoken out against the United States, the European Union and immigrants.
The Smer-Social Democracy Party of Prime Minister Robert Fico, which ran on an anti-migrant platform, took 28.3 per cent of the vote, or 49 seats, which will require the party to form a coalition. In the previous election, in 2012, Smer took 44.4 per cent of the vote, or 83 seats, and was not required to form a coalition.
In July, Slovakia assumes the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.