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Referendum

The first of the post-communist countries in central and eastern Europe to have its citizens vote on whether or not to join NATO - a military alliance that just eight years ago was the enemy - Slovakia stood at a historical threshold.

But it came to naught. Less than 10 percent of the 3.4 million electorate cast ballots in the NATO referendum. Many left the polls in anger and disgust at the Slovak government's last-minute decision to print ballots leaving off a question of whether the people should elect the country's president, an issue that had galvanized public leading up to the May 23-24 vote.

Vol. 3 No. 11, June 5-18, 1997

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Jaromír Čižnár