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Slovakia: Parliamentary Elections Come To A Close

Bratislava, 21 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Two days of voting have ended in Slovakia's elections for 150 parliamentary deputies. The Central Election Commission is not expected to announce preliminary results until tomorrow, but early exit polls suggest former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia party came out ahead with about 18 percent of the vote.

Even if Meciar's party received the most votes, it is unlikely that he will again be prime minister since all the main parties have said they do not plan to form a coalition with him.

Western officials have warned that Slovakia's membership in NATO and the European Union may be threatened if Meciar returns to power. They say he showed insufficient commitment to democracy as prime minister between 1994 and 1998.

Final election results are expected on Monday.