What is the path forward for Slovakia’s Hungarians?
The final results of the 2023 Slovak general election made it clear that there would be no Hungarian ethnic minority party in the Slovak National Council for the next four years. The result and the election campaign leading up to it open up questions on how to best address the country’s Hungarian minority’s issues for both Slovak national and local Hungarian actors.
This analysis takes a look at the 2023 Slovak general election campaign directed at the country’s relatively sizeable Hungarian minority, as well as the election results. To achieve this goal, 39 Facebook pages were selected that predominantly post in Hungarian about Slovak public affairs based on the number of followers they have or their role in disseminating narratives concerning the election. The list included pages of politicians contesting the elections (e.g., Krisztián Forró, György Gyimesi, Konrád Rigó), parties (e.g., Alliance, Hungarian Forum), and Hungarian-language media outlets in Slovakia (e.g., Új Szó, Napunk, Piros7es).
The monitoring effort covered 13 weeks from July to September (30th June to 21st September). Every week, 20 relevant Facebook posts with the highest number of total interactions according to the CrowdTangle tool, published by the 39 pages, were selected (260 in total) and labelled according to the key themes and narratives spread. One or more labels from a total of 67 narratives could be used, helping to identify the main topics posts dealt with and the frequency of the occurrence of these themes in the posts.
Based on the monitoring effort, the following conclusions can be drawn:
- Concerns about the state of the south of Slovakia
- The Alliance was the most popular voice in the campaign
- György Gyimesi was a key voice
- The Hungarian ruling party itself was rarely featured
- Facebook was used for mobilisation
Read more in the report below.