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Mečiar changes tone

FOLLOWING his defeat in the second round of the presidential elections, Vladimír Mečiar, the head of the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), changed his previous rhetoric and threatened to withdraw from plans to help stabilize the ruling coalition and make life hard for the ruling quartet of right-wing parties.

Prior to the second round of the presidential elections, Mečiar said on April 4 on a TV Markíza discussion show that there was "a space for political agreements that would help stabilize the cabinet".

But after his failure in the April 17 election, in which Mečiar was beaten by his former party colleague Ivan Gašparovič, Mečiar said that the coalition could no longer count on the support of his party's 26 MPs, the Slovak daily SME wrote.

The coalition is in a minority position in parliament, having only 68 out of the needed 76 MPs to secure majority in the 150-strong chamber.

Mečiar said "even a small minority [of HZDS MPs] can make big steps".

He also said, however, that rather than firmly joining the other opposition parties, such as Smer, "life would prove a considerable differentiation of HZDS not just in relation to the coalition parties, but also towards Smer".

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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