Early elections considered

FOLLOWING the departure of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) from the government yesterday, support for the ruling coalition in the 150-seat parliament dropped to only 53 MPs. The opposition now has 74 votes, while the remaining 23 are independents.

With general elections scheduled for September, parties have begun considering possible deadlines for early elections.

The Coalition Council, a senior ruling coalition body, is to meet today to decide what steps to take.

The KDH's Pavol Minárik told the Pravda daily that if the government failed to approve the draft Objection of Conscience Treaty between Slovakia and the Vatican tomorrow - which is seen as highly unlikely - the KDH's three cabinet ministers will quit.

The KDH controls the ministries of the interior, justice, and education.

"Prior to that the Coalition Treaty will be renounced, and KDH Chairman Pavol Hrušovský, who is also the Speaker of Parliament, will have to consider whether to give up his post, so that chaos does not ensue," Minárik said.

The opposition parties Smer, Free Forum, and the Slovak Communist Party support the idea of early elections. The opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), however, says that it is now too close to the regular election term to organize an early ballot.

"Early elections cannot be considered now, so the option of completing the [regular election] term is the most likely one," HZDS Deputy Chairman Milan Urbáni told the SME daily.


Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports. The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of its flash postings.

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