SLOVAK President Ivan Gašparovič has called the first session of the new parliament for July 4, as proposed by Smer leader Robert Fico at a meeting with the president.
The initial session was originally planned for July 12, but was moved up after Fico declared that the new ruling coalition between Smer, the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), and the Slovak National Party (SNS), was prepared to start taking all necessary decisions.
On June 30, the parliamentary caucuses should meet to agree on the division of parliamentary committees and the nominations of the leading parliamentary posts, the SITA news agency wrote.
At the initial session, MPs will be officially sworn in, and will elect the speaker and deputy speakers of parliament and officially create the party caucuses.
Following the session, the outgoing government of PM Mikuláš Dzurinda should resign, but carry on until the new Smer-SNS-HZDS govern-ment is named.
Gašparovič also commented on the warnings of critics and observers that the new cabinet may halt or completely overturn the reforms of Dzurinda's right-wing government, thereby damaging the positive progress the economy has been making.
Gašparovič called the threats empty words against a government that hasn't even started working yet.
"I think we should stop speculating that this group of political parties will be a disaster for the country," the president said.
"It should never be said in advance that something is good or bad," he said, adding he had "faith that the future will show whether voters were right".
3. Jul 2006 at 0:00