IN SHORT

Coalition leaders reject NATO celebrations

SEVERAL senior constitutional officials stayed away from the celebration of Slovakia's full NATO membership in the Slovak capital on April 2, joining those not invited to the event in protest of its partisan character, which they felt was promoted by the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ).

One outspoken critic of the event's organisers is former Slovak Ambassador to Washington Martin Bútora, who called the celebrations "an unbelievable hijack by the SDKÚ", the private news agency SITA wrote. Bútora said he was taken aback when he did not receive an invitation to the celebrations.

Hungarian Coalition Party leader Béla Bugar and Christian Democratic Movement chairman Pavol Hrušovský complained that the celebrations had become a private SDKÚ party.

President Rudolf Schuster did not attend the official celebrations, saying that he wanted to respect the rules of the moratorium preceding the presidential elections on April 3.

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