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Slovakia: For Meciar To Lose Election Means To Leave Politics

Bratislava, 11 December 1997 (RFE/RL) - Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar has said that he will leave politics if he fails at the next year's parliamentary elections. "In the event of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia's (HZDS) failure in the elections I will no longer be active in politics in any post," Meciar said on Slovak Television's debata discussion program last night, answering questions from viewers.

The HZDS enjoys the support of almost one third of voters, according to public opinion polls, while the opposition democratic coalition's (SDK) support fell in the last poll conducted by the MVK agency from about a quarter to one fifth.

Meciar sharply criticized the SDK on television and again warned viewers against opposition politicians. He also warned his rebellious coalition partners against non-approval of the state budget for next year.

In the past Meciar had promised to leave politics if there was a repeat of the 1991 situation when he was first ousted as Slovak Premier. However, after his second government fell in 1994 he changed his view.