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SF and HZD sign agreement on mutual parliamentary co-operation

THE FREE Forum (SF), a breakaway faction of the governing-coalition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) party, and the Movement for Democracy (HZD), which split from the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) party, have signed an agreement on mutual parliamentary co-operation.

The information was provided by SF head Zuzana Martináková and HZD chairman Jozef Grapa at a news conference in Bratislava on September 9, the TASR news wire reported.

Eight MPs, who are officially classified as Independents, but belong to the two parties, and Independent MP Eva Antošová (a former HZDS MP) want to discuss and co-ordinate their activities when voting on parliamentary bills, and when considering political questions in parliament. However, their hands will not be tied by the agreement. In case of disagreement, each side will retain the right to act independently.

The two parties to the agreement claim that their main aim is to demonstrate a good example of open co-operation in a parliamentary democracy, and say that the governing coalition should follow suit. "We hope that it will be a precedent. We want Dzurinda's government to tell the public which MPs support it in parliament," said Martináková.

Although SF and HZD have signed an agreement on mutual parliamentary co-operation, they are not planning to set up a joint parliamentary caucus. They also ruled out co-operation in the next general election. The agreement is also open to other MPs who agree with its content.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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