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Mečiar doubts president's legitimacy

FORMER PM Vladimír Mečiar from the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), who lost his presidential bid this year to former party peer Ivan Gašparovič, has expressed doubt about the legitimacy of the new president's mandate.

After meeting with Gašparovič, Mečiar told journalists on July 14 that, due to a vocabulary mistake made by Gašparovič during his oath on June 15, the Slovak constitution had been breached.

When speaking of "national" minorities instead of "národnostné", Gašparovič said "národné".

According to the SME daily, politicians as well as constitutional law experts do not accept Mečiar's argument. Gašparovič both verbally swore his oath to the head of the Constitutional Court and then also confirmed it in writing by signing the proper text of the oath.

Analysts told SME that the affair shows that Mečiar still has not managed to cope with his election failure.

Gašparovič is running a series of meetings with the representatives of Slovakia's parties and, unlike any other parliamentary party, the HZDS delegation consisted of only one man - Mečiar.

Mečiar said that it was the party's decision that he should be the sole representative. According to SME, however, Mečiar was originally unwilling to meet with Gašparovič, and when his party peers pressured him into the meeting he said that he would only do so if he went alone.

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