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Referendum fails, Fico cheerful

DESPITE the failure of the referendum on early elections, Smer party chairman Robert Fico, the most active supporter of the initiative, said that his party translated the results as a success.

In an interview with the Slovak daily Pravda, Fico said that the referendum turnout - which reached 35.9 percent, far below the 50 percent quorum required to be valid - showed that Smer was a "relevant party". He predicts that the ruling coalition will face more problems in the coming period and that early elections could be held in spring of 2005.

But analysts labelled the outcome of the referendum a failure because the forces pushing for the elimination of the PM Mikuláš Dzurinda cabinet did not present the voters any alternatives.

"It looked as if the referendum was organised just so that there would early elections and no one knew what would happen then," sociologist Ľubomír Falťan said to Pravda.

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

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