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IN SHORT

HZDS MP chosen as EU affairs chairman

PARLIAMENT elected opposition MP Tibor Mikuš as the head of the new Committee on European Union Affairs, which succeeds the former Committee for European Integration.

Július Brocka from the co-ruling Christian Democratic Movement party was elected the new chairman of the Social Affairs and Housing Committee, the news wire TASR reported.

Earlier, parliament recalled Vojtech Tkáč, a former minister and state secretary at the Ministry of Labour from that position.

Mikuš, a legislator for the party of former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) is the former director of the electricity utility Slovenské elektrárne.

The HZDS scored a minor victory over its opposition rival Smer, which had nominated Juraj Blanár to the post.

The moves were aimed at stabilising the chamber after Tkáč's caucus of independent MPs recently disintegrated.

Parliamentary Deputy Speaker Viliam Veteška, of the HZDS, proposed the recall of Tkáč, emphasising that it did not have anything to do with the fact that Tkáč had quit the HZDS 18 months ago. He said that he considered Tkáč an expert, but that the political situation called for his resignation.

Another opposition MP, Smer party leader Robert Fico, said that there was no better expert on social affairs in parliament, and dubbed the situation "a circus".

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