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Left-wing parties might merge with Smer

NON-PARLIAMENTARY left-wing parties, the Democratic Left (SDĽ) and Social-Democratic Alternative (SDA), will likely merge with Smer, the news agency SITA wrote. Both hope to join Robert Fico's opposition party by the end of the year.

"SMER and SDĽ express a political will to unite at the regional and national levels into a single political entity," SDĽ leader Ľubomír Petrák told a news conference Sunday.

Likewise, the SDA governing council charged its party leadership with negotiating a merger with Smer.

However, both the SDĽ and SDA governing councils recommended that congress members partake in further discussion before deciding on the merger.

The SDA Chairman Milan Ftačnik stressed that his party will consider all the alternatives. Ftačnik's party will hold its congress November 27, followed by the SDĽ's on December 4.

Smer is scheduled to hold its own congress December 11. The goal of Smer's congress will be to unify its values with the SDĽ and SDA, said Smer's boss, Fico.

Fico quit the SDL in 1999 after disagreement with the party leadership. As Fico does not hold the current SDL leadership responsible for his departure, he supports a merger.

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