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Smer invites KDH to form government

THE CONSERVATIVE Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH) today received an informal offer from the left-wing Smer party to create a coalition government in Slovakia following June 17 elections, which Smer won by a wide margin. KDH Vice-Chairman Vladimír Palko confirmed for the SITA news agency that the offer had been made at an informal meeting with Smer Vice-Chairman Robert Kaliňák. “They were very generous to the KDH, by which I mean we received an offer to create a government coalition. Smer’s thinking leaned towards finding another smaller partner in the form of the [far-right] Slovak National Party or the [ethnic Hungarian] SMK party,” Palko said after the meeting. Palko said he had told Kaliňák that the KDH was calmly considering its options. “I didn’t give the least sign that the KDH wanted to enter such a coalition,” he said, adding he had told Kaliňák that the party was willing to go into opposition. The KDH, which scored 8.3 percent in elections compared to Smer’s 29.1 percent, is deeply divided as to whether or not to accept Smer’s offer because of what some members regard as Smer’s shady financing and its determination to roll back some of the economic reforms that have won Slovakia such international credit. On the one hand, a group of KDH members including former Justice Minister Daniel Lipšic, Palko, and MPs Pavol Minárik, František Mikloško and Rudolf Bauer prefer an opposition role over that of Smer’s bridesmaid. “Smer is supported by business groups with an unacceptable past. Smer also has an unfavourable program and people. The best option for us right now would be to go into opposition. The only acceptable alternative would be a grand right-left coalition, but that’s not acceptable to Smer or the [neo-liberal] SDKÚ, or for me," Lipšic told journalists. On the other hand, KDH leader Pavol Hrušovský, supported by Martin Fronc, Július Brocka, Alojz Přidal, and Pavol Abrhan, is in favour of doing a deal with Smer.

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