NEWS IN SHORT

KDH backs Radičová for president

IVETA Radičová has won the support of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH). All three opposition parties are now committed to supporting the deputy chair of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) in her bid to get elected as national head of state in polls scheduled for 2009, the ČTK newswire wrote.

IVETA Radičová has won the support of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH). All three opposition parties are now committed to supporting the deputy chair of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) in her bid to get elected as national head of state in polls scheduled for 2009, the ČTK newswire wrote.

Political analysts expect that Radičová will be strongest rival to the current president, Ivan Gašparovič, who plans to run for the post again.

"The Christian Democratic Movement supports the candidacy of Iveta Radičová for the post of president," Pavol Hrušovský, the KDH chairman, told journalists on April 4. "After fifteen years, the citizens of the Slovak Republic deserve a head of state without a communist past who will back democracy, freedom and citizens' rights in compliance with the constitution."

The conservative KDH had made its support for the liberal-oriented politician conditional on her commitment on issues such as abortion and support of the traditional family.

On April 4, Radičová supported a KDH proposal to make regulation of artificial abortions stricter. According to the proposal, doctors would have to inform women considering an abortion about the potential risks of surgery and the opportunity to give the child for adoption.

However, the opinions of the KDH and Radičová on abortions still differ.

"The Christian Democratic Movement is aware of the fact and respects that it does not share a completely identical opinion on some cultural and ethical questions with Radičová," read a joint press release.

The former labour minister, who is one of the SDKÚ's most popular personalities, said she would only run with the support of all three opposition parties.

"I am ready to run for the post of the president of the Slovak Republic," Radičová said.

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