IN SHORTS

Béla Bugár: PM should resign

BÉLA Bugár, the head of the Hungarian Coalition Party, recommended in his new book that PM Mikuláš Dzurinda leave the cabinet on May 2 after Slovakia's entry to the EU. The book, Žijem v takej krajine (I Live in Such a Country), was released on April 10.

Bugár told the Slovak daily SME that the PM should leave his post following an "internal party discussion" of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ). Bugár thinks that the PM's departure would help stabilise the ruling coalition.

Most recently, the SDKÚ suffered an unhappy surprise in the first round of the presidential elections when its candidate Eduard Kukan, who had led the public opinion polls, finished third and was eliminated from the competition.

The election failure added to the internal problems the SDKÚ has faced since the end of last year when a group of former members left the party in disagreement with Dzurinda's style of politics. Currently, the party is under investigation for suspicions that it manipulated its donor records.

Other coalition partners, such as Christian Democrat Pavol Hrušovský, have said that the PM should "think seriously" about the current situation. Some coalition politicians suggested that Kukan could replace Dzurinda as PM.

Analyst Michal Vašečka from the Institute for Public Affairs said, however, that the only possible candidate for Dzurinda's replacement is Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš, who "would not go against Dzurinda".

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