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Slovakia: President Appoints New Cabinet

Bratislava, 16 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Slovak President Rudolf Schuster has appointed members of a new cabinet under previous Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda (pictured). The cabinet, representing the four center-right parties who formed a coalition after general elections last month, is set to convene for its first session later today.

The 16-member cabinet, which previously comprised 20 members, now has 30 days to draw up a policy statement to be passed by parliament in a motion of confidence.

Reappointed Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan said that the new government wants to lead Slovakia towards becoming a good member of a united Europe and the global community.

The newly formed coalition ignored the party of former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, despite its strong results in the polls, due to warnings from western officials that Slovakia's bids to join the EU and NATO would be harmed if Meciar returned to power.