The ruling SDKÚ party of Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda has put forward a shortlist of candidates for September 2002 elections that omits three current ministers and a deputy minister for the party, and drops another minister to 23rd position out of 150. Health Minister Roman Kováč, Economy Minister Ľubomír Harach, and Culture Minister Milan Kňažko have all decided not to run again for election, as have former Transport Minister Gabriel Palacka and Deputy Finance Minister Viliam Vaškovič. Current Transport Minister Jozef Macejko, after regional SDKÚ candidates are inserted on the list, is likely to find his current 14th spot drop to 23rd, a barely electable position (the SDKÚ is now at about 10 per cent support in the polls, which translates into 15 parliamentary seats; to have 23 people elected the party would need over 14 per cent in September elections). Dzurinda has said the changes have nothing to do with the political records of the ministers in question, but rather with the party’s attempt to bring new faces into politics. The top five spots on the candidates list, in order, go to Dzurinda, Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan, Deputy Prime Minister for Economy Ivan Mikloš, Interior Minister Ivan Šimko, and SDKÚ Vice-Chair Zuzana Martináková.
Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
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