IN SHORT

Free Forum stays outside cabinet

FOLLOWING a meeting between the Free Forum (SF) party's chairwoman, Zuzana Martináková, and Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, who leads the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), the SF reiterated that it would stay outside the cabinet but offered support for cabinet laws.

"We have agreed with the SDKÚ on what we had already decided with other parties - [to hold] consultations with individual ministers," said Martinaková after the May 18 meeting.

She said that the SF would support reform bills, except for the healthcare bills, which the SF opposes because their impact on citizens is unknown.

According to the private news agency SITA, PM Dzurinda asked the SF to join the coalition as the fifth member of the ruling parties.

Martináková refused to accept the offer, repeating that the SF would not be a part of a cabinet led by Dzurinda.

The SF is a group of former SDKÚ MPs who left the party in protest of Dzurinda's political practices.

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