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Mikloško announces candidacy for ÚPN head post

FRANTIŠEK Mikloško, an MP for the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), has said he will run for the post of chairman of the Nation's Memory Institute (ÚPN), which documents the crimes of communism and fascism in Slovakia.

Mikloško said he had decided to run because parliament has not yet elected a replacement for former ÚPN head Ján Langoš, who died in a car accident last June.

"The institute cannot continue to operate without a chairman, as is clear from the uncertainty within the ÚPN. The people there need professional guidance," he said to the SITA news agency.

If elected the head of the ÚPN, Mikloško does not plan to give up his MP’s post, however.

"I have been in politics for 20 years and I consider this my occupation. It is also a position from which I can defend the institute,” he said.

Rafael Rafaj, the head of the parliamentary caucus of the ruling Slovak National Party (SNS), which according to the coalition agreement has the right to nominate its candidate to the ÚPN’s top post, said he believed that Mikloško met the criteria the SNS had set for the future ÚPN head.

“It is very likely that the SNS will support him,” he said, adding that the SNS would like to talk with Mikloško about the orientation of the institute before supporting him.

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