NEWS BRIEFS

DS withdraws from elections

THE DEMOCRATIC Party (DS) withdrew from elections a week before the ballot and threw its support behind PM Dzurinda's SDKÚ party, advising voters to cast their ballots for the larger party.

Former DS leader Ján Langoš accused current DS boss Ľudovít Kaník of accepting Sk6 million ($136,000) and a ministry post in return for the withdrawal.

Langoš said Kaník "grossly broke party statutes" and "defrauded" voters by accepting the money and withdrawing.

The DS, at less than two per cent support, had almost no chance of taking the over five per cent of votes it needed to enter parliament after September 20-21 elections.

Kaník has admitted the contract he signed with the SDKÚ promises the DS 20 per cent of the state budget money the SDKÚ will receive for its election result, but said no ministry posts had been promised, and rejected the Sk6 million figure as too high.

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