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Slovakia: Meciar Campaigning For Early Elections

Bratislava, 11 September 2000 (RFE/RL) - Former Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar has begun a campaign for a November referendum that could demand early elections. Meciar said in Bratislava that backers of the referendum have only an average chance of attracting participation by the 50 percent of the electorate required for a valid poll. Premier Mikulas Dzurinda has said that if many people vote, he might call early elections even though not required by law to do so. Dzurinda's coalition has urged supporters to refrain from voting in the referendum, but the opposition SMER party told its supporters this weekend to vote.

Meciar was a populist leader as prime minister, often criticized by the West for failing to support democratic reform and policies.