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NEWS BRIEFS

Slovaks welcome Hungarian results

NARROW victory of the opposition socialists of Péter Medgyessy in the first round of Hungarian elections last weekend has been welcomed by Slovak politicians and analysts as more likely to yield agreement on disputes between the neighbouring countries than a victory by the right-wing Fidesz party of prime minister Viktor Orbán.

European observers had worried that had Orbán won by a small margin he might have been forced into working with the ultra-right party of Hungarian nationalist István Csurka. Medgyessy's party has already begun talks with the liberal Free Democratic Alliance (SZDSZ) on cooperation.

The first round of elections decided 185 of 386 parliamentary seats; another 143 are to be contested in a second election round, as will 58 non-elected mandates awarded on the basis of the vote. Political analysts say it is unlikely that Fidesz will be able to overpower the socialists and SZDSZ.

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