Mikuláš Dzurinda has to be replaced if the ruling parties want to secure a majority of votes in parliament following the departure of a group of MPs who have now formed the new political party the Free Forum (SF).
SF leader Ivan Šimko, who at the end of 2003 left the PM's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), on January 14 presented the condition to the leaders of the four ruling parties.
The Slovak daily SME wrote on January 15 that SF would demand Dzurinda's replacement even if it did not enter the ruling coalition, but signed an opposition treaty promising to support the cabinet.
"Nobody can expect us to enter into something that we don't want to enter. We left [the SDKÚ] because the style of Dzurinda's policy is not quite democratic. It is his duty to bear the consequences," Šimko said to SME.
The ruling parties the Christian Democrats, the Hungarian Coalition Party, and the New Citizen's Alliance think that in this situation Dzurinda's SDKÚ must take a stance and warned that a minority cabinet without an opposition agreement with SF could only last a short time.
The ruling coalition now has 68 MPs in parliament, eight votes short of a majority. The opposition parties said they would not support a minority cabinet.
Compiled by Martina Pisárová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
15. Jan 2004 at 10:24