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Slovakia: Schuster Calls Referendum On Elections

Kosice, Slovakia; 5 September 2000 (RFE/RL) - Slovak President Rudolf Schuster today called a referendum for 11 November on whether early general elections should be held. Former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar led the petition campaign for a referendum. Schuster's announcement comes half way through the four-year term of Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda's four-party coalition, which ousted Meciar in 1998 elections. Meciar's populist Movement for a Democratic Slovakia collected 600,000 signatures in getting Schuster to call the referendum. At least 50 percent of eligible voters must take part for the vote to be valid. Analysts have said the referendum, which serves only an advisory role, would produce insufficient voters to result in early general elections.