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IN SHORT

Gašparovič refuses Chmel's resignation

SLOVAKIA'S President Ivan Gašparovič decided not to accept the resignation of Culture Minister Rudolf Chmel (ANO).

The president said that Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda had not yet consulted with him on a new culture minister.

Gašparovič also doubts whether the ex-state secretary in the Education Ministry, František Tóth (like Chmel, an ANO party member), is a suitable candidate for the Culture Minister's chair, the daily Pravda reported the TASR news agency as saying.

"I am not convinced that his [Chmel's] departure would solve the ministry's problems," Gašparovič told the daily, saying he had reached that conclusion after speaking with Chmel.

The ANO's leader, Pavol Rusko, said he wanted to meet with the president to discuss the issue. He added, however, that the ANO insisted on the nomination of Tóth to the post.

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