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MP punished for speeding

MIKLÓS Duray, the deputy chairman of the ruling Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK), has been dropped by his party from its pre-election campaign after having been caught speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol recently.

The SMK's executive board decided to withdraw Duray from the party's election campaign ads, including billboards and TV ads, and has also ordered him to pay at least Sk5,000 (€133), the regular fine for speeding, to charity.

"He accepted [the punishment] humbly," SMK Chairman Béla Bugár told the SME daily.

Duray, however, said he didn't think that his behaviour had damaged his party's image, and called the affair "a plot". He did not explain who might be behind the plot or what the motives could be.

Duray is a prominent SMK member who has the support of a great part of Hungarian nationalists in Slovakia. His popularity was reflected in the fact that the SMK put him in fourth spot on its 150-member candidates list for June 17 elections, and did not debate leaving him off the list after he was caught by police.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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