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NEWS BRIEFS

HZDS defectors ally with Smer

TWO INDEPENDENT MPs who left the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) have now joined the parliamentary caucus of another opposition party, Smer.

MPs Vojtech Tkáč and Dušan Jarjabek announced their decision to join the Smer caucus on May 16. Thus, the Smer caucus is now the strongest caucus with 27 members while the HZDS caucus has just 25 members.

Smer Chairman Robert Fico said, however, that his party would not ask for posts in parliament or on parliamentary committees now that the parliamentary figures have changed.

Fico did not rule out Tkáč and Jarjabek becoming members of Smer at a later date.

Jarjabek quit the HZDS in April 2005, while Tkáč left the party in 2003. Both were well known HZDS figures and had been members of the party for around a decade.

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