FOUR LEFT-wing parties have agreed to form a political bloc in the run-up to the September parliamentary elections.
The Slovak Workers Party (SRS), Labour and Development Party (SPR), the Slovak Left Unity (JSĽ), and the Slovak Revival Movement (SHO) signed the agreement on April 13. None of the parties had more than one per cent voter support.
The bloc's name and leadership will be decided at a May 11 founding convention.
Jozef Kalman, who until recently served as vice-chair of the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), told The Slovak Spectator that he would run for the leadership of the new grouping, estimating it would eventually unite "six or seven left wing parties".
He also denied that the bloc was being set up at the request of HZDS leader Vladimír Mečiar to further fragment the left wing of the political spectrum, as Social Democratic Alternative (SDA) founder Peter Weiss said on April 12.
The ruling coalition Democratic Left Party (SDĽ) has said it wants to work with the Slovak Social Democratic Party (SDSS) and the Trade Union Confederation (KOZ), while the Slovak Communist Party and the SDA will run independently in elections.
Kalman said: "It's a pity for the whole leftist cause that they have made such a decision."
By Martina Pisárová
22. Apr 2002 at 0:00