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Parties approve candidate lists

POLITICAL parties continued to announce lists of candidates over the weekend for the upcoming elections in June.

Opposition HZDS party leader Vladimír Mečiar will occupy first place on the party's list of candidates, a HZDS nomination congress decided on March 11.

The second and third spots on the HZDS list are still vacant, and will be filled in the coming days by the party's political leadership. Mečiar said there was as yet no wider agreement on who should take the spots, and that they did not have to be party members. Mečiar confirmed that rock singer Jozef Raz would not be among the candidates the HZDS fields.

The fourth, fifth and sixth places on the HZDS list were taken by Viliam Veteška, Jozef Tarčák and Jozef Halecký, respectively, followed by Jan Kovarčík, Milan Urbáni, Patrik Dzurina, Tibor Mikuš and Zdenka Kramplová.

Of the top 45 candidates, 14 will be women, close to the one-third ratio of the overall list of candidates.

The party has dropped six current HZDS caucus members - Jan Cuper, Viliam Soboňa, Gabriel Karlin, Jan Mikuš, Milan Cagala and Stanislav Husár.

The ruling coalition SMK party has put leader Béla Bugár, Deputy PM Pál Csáky and SMK caucus head Gyula Bárdos in the top three places on the party's list of candidates.

SMK MP Miklós Duray and Education Minister Lászlo Szigeti will take places four and five, respectively. The entire 150-name list was approved by the SMK National Council on March 11.

As Bugár announced at a briefing following the meeting, the sixth, seventh, and eighth places are reserved for MP Ivan Farkas, Construction Minister Lászlo Gyurovszky, and Laszlo Koteles. Four women will be in the first 20 spots.

The SMK set two new conditions for its nominees - that they never have cooperated with the ŠtB communist-era secret police, and that they not hold more than two posts, such as member of parliament, regional MP, local councillor or mayor. The SMK will deal with its election campaign and election program at a national council meeting on April 1.

Smaller parties such as Misia 21 and Nadej also held meetings on March 11. Mission 21 leader Ivan Šimko and the party's two vice-chairs, Eva Bombová and Ján Kubiš, will occupy the top three places on the party's list of candidates. Their election program will be introduced at the beginning of May.

The top three places on Nádej's list of candidates will be reserved for Alexandra Novotná, Deputy Transport Minister Peter Jesenský, and mathematics analyst Jozef Mihal. The party's co-founders, Culture Minister Frantisek Tóth and Economy Minister Jirko Malchárek, will occupy the 28th and 29th positions on the list of candidates, respectively. In all, nine women will appear on the party list.

Miroslav Maxon, Jozef Grappa and Rudolf Žiak are the first three names on the list of candidates of the non-parliamentary Movement for Democracy (HZD), party election leader Maxon said on March 11.

According to political scientist Miroslav Kusý, Slovakia's parties have mostly nominated familiar people to stand for general elections. "The election programs remain the same, as do their policies. Although a considerable amount of time has passed and a lot has happened both on the domestic as well the international scene since the last elections, we don't progress - we just wait for the next elections," Kusy told the TASR news wire.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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