Martin Fedor to become new Defence Minister

THE RULING Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) has agreed to nominate Deputy Defence Minister Martin Fedor as the country's new Defence Minister. He will replace Juraj Liška, who stepped down following the January 19 air crash that killed 42 Slovak soldiers and airplane crew.

Fedor, 32, started his career with the SDKÚ in 1998, accompanying party chairman and future PM Mikuláš Dzurinda on his pre-election campaign.

He arrived at the Defence Ministry in June 2003 to replace Rastislav Káčer, who had been selected as the Slovak ambassador to Washington.

Slovak President Ivan Gašaprovič must officially nominate the new minister for the change to take effect. According to presidential spokesman Marek Trubač, the president will do so immediately after PM Dzurinda submits a nomination proposal.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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