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IN SHORT

Squabble ensues over MP's replacement

IT is still unclear who will fill the parliamentary seat left by Jirko Malchárek, who recently became economy minister, the SITA news agency reported.

A group of MPs around Ľubomír Lintner, who nominated Malchárek to the cabinet post, wants to replace him with Pavol Kuljaček from the New Citizen's Alliance (ANO). Kuljaček is loyal to Lintner's rebel faction within the ANO.

However, Marta Dachová, who supports Pavol Rusko, leader of the now opposition ANO, wrote a letter to Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrušovský laying claim to Malchárek's seat. Dachová argued that the seat belongs to her according to the results of the 2002 parliamentary elections. However, she renounced her claim to a parliamentary seat a few months ago, allowing Stanislav Kropilák to join parliament in her place.

Michal Horváth, who supports Lintner's group, also has ambitions for the vacant parliamentary seat. He won more votes in the last election than Dachová, but like her he dropped his parliamentary ambitions. On October 5, however, he unexpectedly said he would like to replace Malchárek.

Lintner replied that if someone gives up their claim to a mandate, it cannot be renewed. However, the ANO insists that neither Dachová nor Horváth had a mandate since they never took the MP's oath, and thus could not have given it up.

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