Three Hungarians standing for minority seat in parliament
Lendava, 25 March - Three ethnic Hungarians will vie for a seat reserved in the Slovenian parliament for a representative of the Hungarian minority, which lives in the north-easternmost part of the country in Prekmurje. While incumbent Ferenc Horvath is standing for re-election, he will be challenged by Otto Močnek and Mihael Kasaš.
Horvath was elected to parliament in the 2018 general election after Laszlo Göncz decided not to stand for re-election after three terms.
He stood as a deputy mayor of Lendava and head of the self-governing Hungarian community in the region of Pomurje, winning against only only rival.
Horvath told the STA that he decided to stand again in order to continue his work to the benefit of people, because he believes he has a very successful term behind him.
Both of his challengers are involved in politics at local level and are experts in chemical technology.
Močnek, a university graduate of chemical technology from Petišovci, has worked at the Hungarian consulate general in Lendava for five years after working for two oil companies.
He promotes credible representation of the minority, providing it with targetted funding, and transparency of Slovenian and Hungarian state subsidies for it.
Kasaš is the head of the Lednava city administration. He served as an Environment Ministry state secretary for six months under the Marjan Šarec government (2018-2020), and is also an ecological farmer. He comes from Dolina near Lendava and holds a PhD in chemical technology.
Having been in local politics for eight years, he said he had realised the minority needed ambitious, decisive and active voices not only in its local environment but also in the centre of decision-making - the National Assembly.
Under Slovenian legislation, the Hungarian and Italian autochthonous ethnic minorities are guaranteed each one seat in the lower chamber of parliament.
When this year's general election was called in mid-February, there were 5,563 ethnic voters eligible to vote for the Hungarian MP and 2,771 for the Italian MP.
The electoral commission in the electoral unit where the Hungarian MP is elected will meet to examine the candidacies on Tuesday.
The one in the electoral unit for the Italian MP will meet this afternoon. Incumbent MP Felice Žiža and Maurizio Tremul, head of the Italian minority's umbrella organisation, have announced their candidacies.