NEWS BRIEFS

Third sector prepares vote campaign

THE THIRD Sector Gremium (G3S), an umbrella group for non-governmental organisations in Slovakia, said through member Juraj Mesik that the body would focus on convincing people to vote in September 2002 elections because of the importance of the ballot for the country's integration ambitions. "We want to explain to people why it's important that they participate in elections," he said. The Gremium has mailed letters to more than 2,700 NGOs requesting them to help get out the vote. In the last elections in 1998, turnout of over 84 per cent was widely credited for putting a pro-democratic government in power. Political professionals have expressed fears that widespread disenchantment with the Dzurinda government may lead to low participation this year, and the possible victory of parties unacceptable to Nato and the EU.

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