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IN SHORT

Dzurinda says coalition strong enough

PRIME Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda said the ruling parties were not in a minority position, despite their hold on only 75 seats in the 150-strong chamber.

On an October 19 political show on the private TV Joj, Dzurinda denied that the cabinet is be in a minority position that would endanger its functioning.

The PM also rejected claims that the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) would support a possible minority cabinet.

The ruling coalition lost formal majority in parliament after several MPs left two out of the four ruling parties to become independent MPs. These politicians include former New Citizen's Alliance (ANO) members Branislav Opaterný and Robert Nemcsics, and the previous defence minister from Dzurinda's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Ivan Šimko.

Depite leaving their mother caucuses, however, all three officials pledged to continue to support the cabinet's program, as the coalition relies on their votes to push through cabinet laws.

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