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Slovakia: Parliament Reconvenes; Opposition Meets President


Bratislava, 24 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Slovakia's Parliament reconvenes today, and opposition parties have placed on the agenda proposals on direct election of a president. Also scheduled for debate are proposals for parliamentary oversight of secret service and military intelligence activities.

In two special sessions this month, the opposition has failed in attempts to remove Interior Minister Gustav Krajci, whom the opposition blames for the failure of last month's referendum.

Yesterday, leaders of eight opposition and two coalition parties met with Slovak President Michal Kovac and announced afterwards that they are ready for roundtable talks with Premier Vladimir Meciar.

Participants told journalists that such political dialogue should produce an agreement on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Slovak-EU parliamentary commission on June 19, which demanded improvements in Slovak democracy by November.

Participation in the meeting by the coalition Slovak National Party and the Slovak Farmers' Association, a satellite of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), was unexpected. The HZDS and another coalition party, the Slovak Workers' Party, were not present.

Meciar told Slovak Radio: "We don't consider the president an authority capable of conducting a constructive dialogue."
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