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Fico turns to SMK and opposition

WHAT so far has seemed the least desirable government coalition - a pact between the opposition Smer, Slovak National Party (SNS) and Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) - is slowly becoming the option favored by the Smer party.

Negotiations are also paving the way for a possible new coalition consisting of the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK), HZDS, and Smer, the Pravda daily wrote.

Sources close to Smer Chairman Robert Fico said that although the party initially considered a coalition with the SNS and HZDS as a last option, this alliance is now gaining the support of an increasing group within Smer's top leadership.

Fico should today meet with the representatives of all parties except for PM Mikuláš Dzurinda's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union for another round of talks.

The latest option - Smer-SMK-HZDS - is also being discussed in backroom talks. This possibility has so far been questionable because the SMK initially refused to enter a coalition government with Smer without another right-wing party. It cannot be ruled out, however, that the SMK will not insist on this condition and might enter a coalition with Smer even without the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH).

The KDH has still not said whether it would join a government with Smer. KDH leaders are believed to be deeply split on this issue.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports

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