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Palko to run for KDH chairman post

VLADIMÍR Palko, an MP with the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), has said that he will run for the leadership of the KDH at the party’s upcoming congress, which will take place in May at the earliest.

Palko's candidacy has expected for months. In an interview with the Sme daily he said that he wants to renew the power of the KDH, as well as the party’s ability to act and its unity. If he fails in his leadership bid, he said, he will remain a party member. Palko added that he sees no threat of a party split.

It is likely that the current KDH chairman, Pavol Hrušovský, will also run for the top party post. Palko said that if he wins the elections, he will make Hrušovský the party’s first deputy chairman, although he did not say whether he would accept a similar post himself if he was not elected.

The dispute between Palko, a conservative traditionalist, and Hrušovský, a more moderate Christian democrat, arose after the general elections in June 2006. While Hrušovský was in favor of the KDH joining a coalition government with the current ruling Smer party, Palko rejected the idea, and used his influence to block the Hrušovský wing from joining Smer.

With the KDH deadlocked over whether to join Smer, the latter elected to form a coalition government with the Slovak National Party and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia.

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