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President signs early elections into law

SLOVAK President Ivan Gašparovič sealed the decision on early elections in Slovakia yesterday by signing an amendment to the constitution that parliament had approved on February 9.

Early elections in Slovakia will thus be held on June 17, the SITA news agency wrote.

Acting Speaker of Parliament Béla Bugár must now officially announce the elections, which he has promised to do without delay.

Early elections were necessitated by the departure of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) from the governing coalition earlier in February and the willingness of the remaining government parties to cut short their term in office from September, as originally scheduled.

The official reason given for the KDH decision was the refusal of Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union to support the draft treaty between Slovakia and the Vatican on objections of conscience, one of the KDH's most cherished programme aims.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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