Fico bows out, takes opposition seat

Smer party leader Robert Fico, who came third in last weekend’s elections with 13.5 per cent, has decided not to negotiate with the four right-wing parties likely to form the cabinet, and to accept a role in opposition.

Fico has also refused to meet the election’s winner, former PM Vladimír Mečiar, for talks.

Meanwhile, the four parties holding talks on building a government continued with their lightning-speed negotiations, agreeing to cut government posts from 20 to 16, and on the ratio of seats each party is to hold in the new government.

They have also promised to have an outline of a government programme ready by the end of this week.

The only minor conflicts that have emerged so far are apparently between the SDKÚ party of PM Dzurinda and the Christian Democrats over the Interior Ministry post, and between the Christian Democrats and the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) over the Speaker of Parliament chair.

Western diplomats have urged the next government be formed quickly to give both Nato and the European Union a chance to evaluate Slovakia’s political stability ahead of fall enlargement summits for both alliances.

Compiled by Tom Nicholson from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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