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SEPTEMBER

Political news roundup

September 29 - The United Nations announces that it will not investigate the sterilization of Slovak Roma women following allegations by Slovak authorities. Investigators heard 134 witnesses and inspected 24,000 files before coming to its decision

September 29 - The United Nations announces that it will not investigate the sterilization of Slovak Roma women following allegations by Slovak authorities. Investigators heard 134 witnesses and inspected 24,000 files before coming to its decision. The case broke out after a report entitled Body and Soul: Forced Sterilizations and Other Attacks on the Reproductive Freedom of Roma in Slovakia and published by the New York Centre for Reproductive Rights and the Advisory Service for Civil and Human Rights indicated that there had been more than 110 cases of forced sterilizations of Roma women in state hospitals in eastern Slovakia since 1989.

September 27 - Opposition parties agree that early elections should take place on April 8 and called on the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) and the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) to support the initiative. However, the SMK and the KDH responded that they would not join the opposition because doing so would contradict the rules of coalition cooperation.

September 27 - With a vast majority of 111 votes the parliament approved a constitutional law that gives Slovakia's Supreme Audit Office control over all municipal funds. Until now, the office's powers were limited merely to the funds they received from the state budget and EU funds.

September 23 - MPs pass a new Slovak defence strategy in which terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are considered the main global threats to Slovakia's security. The strategy is a reaction to the dramatic changes to the country's security environment over the past few years and to obligations resulting from Slovakia's membership in the EU and NATO.

September 21 - Parliament opens after a week of impasse. Independent MPs as well as two fresh breakaways from the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), Karol Džupa and Eduard Kolesár, help the ruling parties reach their necessary votes. The ruling Hungarian Coalition Party and the Christian Democratic Movement still insist on early elections that should be held in March or April.

September 20 - The chairman of the opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) party, Vladimír Mečiar, says that he paid off debts related to a loan on his luxurious villa in Trenčianske Teplice. It is estimated that the villa cost around Sk40 million (€1 million). Mečiar said that he settled the debt with property rights belonging to his wife, a retired doctor.

September 19 - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) MPs, Karol Džupa and Eduard Kolesár, left the HZDS caucus to sign an agreement of cooperation with the pro-coalition group in the New Citizen's Alliance (ANO) caucus led by Lubomír Lintner.

September 17 - Smer Chairman Robert Fico says that the ruling coalition is buying independent MPs to support the minority government and that the price is Sk15 million (€390,000) and more. Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda called the allegationnd suggested that Fico should inform the police if he is so sure of his information.

September 15 - Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič addresses 190 world leaders at the United Nations summit in New York, noting that the organization must not remain a "discussion club" that fails in times when effective solutions are needed.

September 12 - The liberal New Citizen's Alliance (ANO) party, led by Pavol Rusko, withdraws from the coalition. The three remaining ruling parties - the Slovak and Democratic Christian Union (SDKÚ), the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) and the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) - signed a new coalition agreement together with nine former ANO MPs formed around Ľubomír Lintner, pledging to support the cabinet's original programme.

September 12 - The opposition blocks the first parliamentary session after the summer recess, demonstrating the weakness of the minority government in parliament. With just 73 votes of the required 76, the coalition is unable to officially open the session. Parties including the coalition start admitting the possibility of early elections.

September 11 - The New Citizen's Alliance (ANO) congress votes to cancel the Coalition Agreement with the Slovak and Democratic Christian Union (SDKÚ), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK). The delegates of the congress agree that the ANO will leave for the opposition and sack ANO Vice Chairmen Ľubomír Lintner, Jirko Malchárek, František Tóth, Ľubomír Roman and Alexander Koval from the party, along with MPs Peter Biroš, Stanislav Kropilák, Imrich Hamarčák and Rudolf Chmel.

September 5 - New Citizen's Alliance (ANO) party member, Vladimír Menich, stepped down as Deputy Transport Minister post in reaction to the termination of the coalition cooperation between the Slovak and Democratic Christian Union (SDKÚ), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) and his ANO party.

September 3 - The New Citizen's Alliance (ANO) caucus, led by the party deputy chairman, Ľubomír Lintner, calls on ANO Chairman Pavol Rusko to leave the caucus. The Lintner group, counting eight MPs, announces that it wants to nominate Jirko Malchárek as Rusko's replacement as Economy Minister.

September 1 - The Slovak and Democratic Christian Union (SDKÚ), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) terminate cooperation with New Citizen's Alliance (ANO) party boss Pavol Rusko. The parties announced that they want to complete the election term with Rusko's opponents that formed around ANO Deputy Chairman Ľubomír Lintner.

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