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NEWS BRIEFS

PM: Coalition does not need KDH

FOLLOWING a meeting between the parties of the ruling coalition - Smer, the Slovak National Party (SNS), and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) - PM Robert Fico said that the unity of the ruling coalition was not in doubt, nor was its ability to continue to the end of its term in June 2010.

"The ruling coalition has 85 MPs [a strong majority in the 150-seat house] and does not need anybody else [to join the coalition]," he said, referring to speculation that the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) might join the ruling trio or possibly replace the HZDS party.

HZDS Chairman Vladimír Mečiar said that the KDH would bring a strong dose of intolerance to the coalition, and that he doubted the ability of such a coalition to last. He also said he saw it as realistic that the government might find the five MPs that it needs for a constitutional three-fifths majority among the ranks of the opposition.

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