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NEWS BRIEFS

Ruling MPs in minority

THE FIRST parliamentary session in 2004 will see the ruling MPs in an official minority - only 68 strong in the 150-MP chamber.

The coalition is now relying on the support of the seven MPs who, at the end of 2003, left the ruling Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ).

The Slovak daily Pravda wrote on January 20 that the coalition is relying on the Free Forum (SF) of former Defence Minister Ivan Šimko to vote for cabinet laws.

Several important laws are on the parliamentary agenda for January - including the vetoed law on pensions, anti-corruption legislation, the new election law, and the constitutional amendment that will enable Slovaks to run for posts in the European Parliament.

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