NEWS BRIEFS

Mečiar keeps grip on HZDS

A LATE SEPTEMBER central committee meeting of the HZDS opposition party avoided formal discussion of whether leader Vladimír Mečiar should resign, despite alleged widespread discontent with the HZDS' continued political isolation.

The Slovak press have reported that many HZDS members would like to see Mečiar replaced after twice leading the party to election victories in 1998 and 2002, but then being unable to find a coalition partner among domestic parties that rejected the HZDS' authoritarian style of politics.

HZDS member Oľga Keltošová has said the leadership issue may be discussed at an October 12 HZDS national congress meeting, and that party vice-chair Vojtech Tkáč, generally regarded as politically more moderate than Mečiar, has emerged as a serious candidate for the seat.

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