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PRESS digest: SME DAILY

News item: New opposition KDH party presidium member Ján Čarnogurský says the party should have at least negotiated with the HZDS party following elections on establishing a coalition government.


From not wanting to being quite willing
By Peter Schutz


The statement of Ján Čarnogurský regarding the "obstinate position of the KDH [opposition Christian Democrats] regarding a coalition with the HZDS" (and four others like it) so pleased [former PM] Mikuláš Dzurinda that he even publicly praised the new member of the KDH presidium. Dzurinda's new ally so inflated the SDKÚ party chairman's fantasy that he exposed himself more than was necessary.

Dzurinda and his party went into elections with the statement that "we don't want to work with the HZDS", a stance he supported twice with the argument that "honourable people will not be content until they know who killed Remiáš". The wriggle room that the ex-PM left himself ("we don't want") was sufficient that he hasn't had to change this statement since, even though much else has changed. Still, the SDKÚ's position before elections was sufficiently clear, even though it didn't reject the HZDS categorically.

But today, following another round of the battle over Mečiar's amnesties and Mečiar's unforgettable speech in parliament, Dzurinda no longer regards a SDKÚ-KDH-SMK-HZDS government as some lesser evil, or an "emergency exit" to allow the country to avoid Fico, that would have to be used with gritted teeth and protesting conscience. Now this coalition is virtually ideal, an excellent option that was almost criminally discarded. The head of the SDKÚ has moved from "not wanting" into a qualitatively different space. For some time now he has been claiming quite seriously that there is a good alternative to "the cynicism and clientelism that is spreading, an alternative that we support".

Of course, Dzurinda hasn't changed, it's just that time has passed. Compared to the Smer-SNS-HZDS coalition, all options are legitimate and better, and politicians can amuse themselves with whatever they please, such as commenting on an internal discussion in a party they abandoned six years ago [i.e. as Dzurinda quit the KDH in 2000]. Especially if the future looks like it might bring something.

However, this "honourable person" who will never rest until he finds out who killed Remiáš should at least keep up the pretence that his memory still functions, not just his calculator.

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