IN SHORT

Gašparovič signs Chmel's resignation

PRESIDENT Ivan Gašparovič signed Culture Minister's Rudolf Chmel's letter of resignation, the TASR news agency wrote.

The president's decision to grant Chmel's request took effect May 24. Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš assumed temporary leadership for the Culture Ministry.

Gašparovič's decision to accept Chmel's resignation came after a repeated request from Chmel on May 19. Chmel, a member of the ruling New Citizen's Alliance (ANO), said that his decision to leave his post is definite, so he again asked Gašparovič to grant his request.

Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda said that he would not hinder the appointment of ANO nominee František Tóth as the new Culture Minister. The PM pointed out, however, that Tóth still holds Deputy Education Minister post.

"It is necessary that Education Minister Martin Fronc send me a proposal to recall Tóth from that position, which will allow me to submit a proposal for his appointment as Culture Minister to the president. Prior to that however, I want to discuss this issue with leaders of the other coalition parties," he said.

ANO Chairman Pavol Rusko expects Dzurinda to submit an appointment proposal when he returns from his working visits to Japan and South Korea.

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