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Slovakia: Parliament Rejects Gaulieder Reinstatement

Bratislava, 1 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Slovakia's parliament has turned down an opposition proposal to reinstate Frantisek Gaulieder, a former deputy of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS).

Our correspondent reports that only 68 out of 147 deputies present voted last night for the proposal, with 42 votes against, 33 abstentions and four deputies not having voted.

The government majority deputies stripped Gaulieder of his parliamentary mandate in December.

Gaulieder resigned as a member of Meciar's party last year in a policy disagreement. The HZDS maintains that Gaulieder then signed papers last December resigning his seat and parliament voted to remove him. Gaulieder maintains the papers were forged.

In August, Slovakia's constitutional court ruled that the parliamentary vote violated Gaulieder's constitutional rights and ordered parliament to reconsider.

MPs from HZDS and its coalition partner the Slovak National Party in late August and early this month boycotted sessions convened to discuss the Gaulieder case, preventing his reinstatement. Some MPs from the third coalition partner, the Association of Workers of Slovakia, have said they would vote for reinstatement.