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Attitudes towards Mečiar changing

SLOVAKIA's right-wing parties were once unified in their opposition to cooperating with former PM Vladimír Mečiar and his Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) party, but recent approaches by PM Mikuláš Dzurinda's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) and the conservative Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) have shown that attitude might be changing.

The KDH must still get over a grude it bears against the former PM for issuing pardons that have prevented the investigations into several criminal cases from ever being concluded, the SME daily wrote. But Dzurinda's SDKÚ has already mentioned the possibility of forming a coalition with the HZDS, and even with Mečiar, as part of the post-election government.

SDKÚ's Iveta Radičová, who also serves as Labour Minister, explained the change by stating that party programs, rather than personalities, are what's important.

SME agrees that Mečiar's pardons effectively spelled the end for certain investigations, but holds the biggest cases remain open. However, while the investigation into the kidnapping of Michal Kováč Jr, the former president's son, has been prevented by Mečiar's amnesty as an MP, the murder case of Robert Remiáš, a go-between to Oskar Fegyveres, who allegedly witnessed the kidnapping, has yet to see a courtroom.

Political analyst Samuel Abrahám admits Mečiar held the current minority government together, but believes his participation in a new ruling coalition would be a "moral tragedy".

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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