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NEWS BRIEFS

PM's party flops in latest poll

Mikuláš Dzurinda's Christian Democratic Union party (SDKÚ) would finish fourth if parliamentary elections were held today, a new poll said.

SDKÚ has 8.9% voter support, according to the latest poll by the MVK agency, trailing former prime minister Vladimir Mečiar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS - 26%), Robert Fico's non-parliamentary Smer (14%), the Hungarian coalition (9.6) and the non-parliamentary Ano (9.4), led by media mogul Pavol Rusko.

The poll revealed a fragmented political scene, with three more parties - the Christian Democrats (KDH - 6.9%), the Democratic leftists (SNS - 6.5%) and the Slovak Nationalists (SDĽ - 5.7 %) - receiving more than 5% voter support, the minimum to enter parliament. Another eight parties, including the Communist party (KSS - 3.4%) received a total of 12.1% support.

President Rudolf Schuster's Civic Understanding party (SOP) garnered 1% voter support.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for October 2002.

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