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THE WINNER of the June 17 general elections was the left-wing Smer, followed by the PM Mikuláš Dzurinda's right-wing Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ). Both parties earned more votes than political analysts had expected.

Smer gained 29.14 percent and will thus have 50 seats in the 150-member parliament. The SDKÚ, with 18.36 percent, will have 31 MPs. The far-right Slovak National Party (SNS) of Ján Slota came third with 11.73 percent and 20 seats in parliament, followed by the Hungarian Coalition Party, which scored the best result in its history with 11.69 percent and 20 seats in parliament.

The opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) of ex-PM Vladimír Mečiar plummeted to its lowest-ever result with a mere 8.79 percent, down from 19.5 percent in 2002 and 27 percent in 1998. The HZDS caucus will thus number only 15 MPs. The sixth and last party to qualify for seats in parliament was the conservative Christian Democratic Movement with 8.31 percent and 14 MPs.

The country saw its lowest voter turnout ever in parliamentary elections at just 54.67 percent.

The former parliamentary Slovak Communist Party did not qualify for seats in the legislature, with only 3.88 percent, while the Free Forum of Zuzana Martináková also failed to achieve the 5 percent threshold for representation in parliament, scoring only 3.47 percent.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports

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