SDKÚ trusts Dzurinda, currency weakens

THE FOUR ruling coalition parties has agreed not to support any of the presidential candidates in the second round of presidential elections. Ivan Gašparovič and Vladimír Mečiar will meet in the second round on April 17, the daily SME wrote.

Political scientists agree that the lower turnout will benefit Mečiar who, in the first round, collected 32.73 percent of the vote.

"It is up to the free will of the citizens whether they cast their votes," said Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, who continues to enjoy the support of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ). The party expressed its full trust in him and other members of the governing cabinet on April 5.

Béla Bugár, said the Hungarian Coalition Party he heads does not see anyone in the second round who could be described as the lesser evil, as both candidates contributed to Slovakia's international isolation in the past.

The results of the first round of the presidential elections pushed down the Slovak currency by 10 haliers.

Analysts with the Goldman Sachs Jens Nordvig said the results were "bad and absolutely unexpected news".

He said that Mečiar's victory was a blow to Slovakia's pro-reform politics and a negative signal for the market.

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

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