SLOVAK Communist Party (KSS) MP Ivan Hopta has left the party after 28 years of membership.
He is also leaving the KSS parliamentary caucus, which is now down to nine members in a 150-member parliament.
Hopta wants to become an independent MP together with his former KSS peer, Herman Arvay, who quit the party at the end of last year, the private news agency SITA wrote.
Hopta said he left the KSS because party chairman Jozef Ševc refused to apologise for lies that he had spread about him and because party MPs were voting in contradiction with the party programme and do not advocate the interests of the poor.
Hopta also suggested that he intended to start a new political party. He expects negotiations to begin this summer.
26. Jul 2004 at 0:00 | From press reports