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Dzurinda purges SDKÚ

The leadership of the SDKÚ-DS, the country’s strongest opposition party, moved to expel 14 members on March 8 in what could be the largest culling of party ranks in Slovak history.

The leadership of the SDKÚ-DS, the country’s strongest opposition party, moved to expel 14 members on March 8 in what could be the largest culling of party ranks in Slovak history.

It is SDKÚ Chairman Mikuláš Dzurinda's most radical step as party leader. Internal SDKÚ bodies must approve the decision, and are widely expected to go along with it.

Dzurinda said that those facing expulsion had broken party rules.

The main rule Dzurinda is likely referring to is his statement last week that the party would no longer air its dirty laundry, which allows the media to question its stability and dictate its agenda. Two days after, several members of the SDKÚ petitioned for a change in the party leadership.

According to SDKÚ-DS Deputy Chairman Ivan Mikloš, the members who signed the petition, titled "Time is Ripe for Change", are suspected of collaborating with the governing Smer party.

The measure of expulsion concerns MP Martin Kuruc, Branislav Záhradník, who heads the Bratislava Transportation company, Valentin Mikuš and almost all of the party’s deputy chairmen. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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