Marian Kotleba, chairman of the right-wing extremist Slovak Togetherness-National Party, is the new lead councillor in the central Slovak region of Banska Bystrica after winning an estimated 55.6% of the vote.
The party Kotleba founded has organised anti-Roma protests and defended the country’s past as a Nazi puppet state during World War II. According to a report published by International Policy Analysis, Slovak Togetherness “combines the traditional themes of extreme nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, neo-fascism and… neo-Nazism.”
Kotleba himself, who frequently appears in quasi-military clothing, is a former computer science teacher who has organised marches commemorating the wartime state president Jozef Tiso, who was complicit in the murder of Jews. Kotleba has been charged with racial defamation but denies being a racist:
“Those who do not work should not eat, irrespective of their being white, pink or black.”