The Party of the Hungarian Coalition (SMK) launched its second annual congress in the southern Slovak city of Komárno on November 13 to evaluate the party's performance in the ruling coalition and to plan strategy.
SMK Chairman Béla Bugár opened the congress by pouring criticism on the ruling coalition for its "indecisiveness and tardiness" in making decisions. Bugár said the four coalition parties had known since taking power last October about the need to adopt economic restrictions. "If we came into conflict with our coalition partners, it was because they tried to delay solutions to the problem, and gave preference to semi-solutions," he claimed.
Bugár said that the cabinet ministers and deputy ministers from the SMK party were experts who had avoided political scandal and the taint of corruption. This evaluation was confirmed by Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, who in an address to the congress called the SMK the government's "most stable member."
Bugár returned in his address to the SMK's disappointment over the process of adopting the Law on Minority Languages, which was passed by parliament last summer. The SMK leader said he felt the party had been eliminated from certain stages of the adoption process, while the rest of the coalition had not accepted a single proposal by the SMK. He warned that the failure of the coalition to keep its commitments to each of its four members would prove one of the greatest threats to government stability in the future.
22. Nov 1999 at 0:00 | From press reports of TASR and SITA