86 political parties banned in Slovakia including Hungarian federalists

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Tue Dec 13 22:30:03 UTC 2005

86 political parties banned in Slovakia including Hungarian federalists

Bruxelles - Brussel, Friday, 02 December 2005 by Davyth Hicks

86 political parties have been banned in the Slovak Republic following a
change of law on February 4th 2005. One of the parties, the Hungarian
Federalist party (HFP), is a member of the European Free Alliance (EFA)
allied to the Greens in the European Parliament. The EFA leader Nelly Maes
has written to the Slovak President to complain and questions : Is a
country where 86 parties are banned all at once really a democracy?" The
EFA has requested that the President of the Slovak Republic, Ivan
Gaparovic, start a formal investigation into the matter.

In a press release the EFA points out that according to the Guidelines on
Prohibition and Dissolution of Political parties and analogous measures
adopted by the Venice Commission at its 41st plenary session (10-11
December 1999 Council of Europe), states should recognise that everyone
has the right to associate freely in political parties and that any
limitations to the exercise of activities of political parties shall be
consistent with the relevant provisions of the European Convention for the
protection of Human Rights and other international treaties. The EFA add
that dissolution of a party may only be justified in the case of parties
which advocate the use of violence, which was not investigated and which
is not the case for our partner in the Slovak republic.

Nelly Maes told the press that: With the dissolution of the party HFP the
Slovak Republic has not lived up to its international obligations
according to the guidelines of the Council of Europe. Banning of 86
parties at one time can clearly be seen as a disregard to the principle of
proportionality and is clearly not an exceptional measure but a broad
based exclusion mechanism that is incompatible with the principles of

The EFA works towards self-determination for all the peoples of Europe and
for the protection and development of their languages. Members with MEPs
include Plaid Cymru, the Scottish National Party and Esquerra Republica
Catalunya. (Eurolang 2005)


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