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HZDS threatens SIS budget over unwanted nomination

THE RULING Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) is threatening to veto money from the 2007 state budget for the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) unless the party’s nominee, Igor Urban, is accepted as the new SIS deputy director.

HZDS MP Ján Kovarčík confirmed that his party had insisted that Urban be appointed, even though SIS Director Jozef Magala earlier rejected him, the Pravda daily wrote.

Urban served as head of the Special SIS Oversight Committee in the mid-1990s when the intelligence service was run by HZDS nominee Ivan Lexa. Under Lexa’s leadership from 1995 to 1998, the SIS was suspected of kidnapping the former president’s son and murdering a key figure in the ensuing investigation.

Magala was nominated by the ruling Smer party. Originally, the other coalition parties, the HZDS and the Slovak National Party (SNS), were to have nominated their candidates as SIS deputy directors. The SNS later gave up its right to the nomination, but the HZDS has insisted on Urban.

“We have not yet discussed [blocking the SIS budget] in the HZDS caucus. But once we agree on it, we will not vote for the budget,” Kovarčík said.

Talks between Magala and the HZDS on the deputy director post are to take place at the end of November.

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