Meciar and Partners Sign Coalition Pact
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) _ Premier-designate Vladimir Meciar, whose party finished first in parliamentary elections two months ago, signed an agreement Sunday to form a three-party coalition government.
The accord, which followed weeks of political uncertainty, would bring Meciar back as premier.
It would group Meciar’s Movement for a Democratic Slovakia with the nationalist Slovak National Party and the leftist Association of Slovak Workers. The three parties hold 83 of the 150 seats in Parliament.
The coalition agreement was to be presented to President Michal Kovac Monday for his approval.
Slovakia, an economically weak republic, has experienced political instability since the peaceful breakup of Czechoslovakia on Jan. 1, 1993.
Meciar, who led the Slovak break from the federation, was ousted as premier in a March no-confidence vote, prompted in part by differences within his government over how to speed economic reforms.
But Meciar’s party emerged the strongest in Sept. 30-Oct. 1 elections, capturing 61 seats in Parliament.
Meciar’s proposed cabinet indicated a slower approach to privatization. The privatization portfolio was to go to the Workers’ party, whose leader, Jan Luptak, is known for his opposition to speedy economic reforms.
″If somebody thinks that privatization is a panacea, they are wrong,″ Luptak told a news conference Sunday, saying it led to mass worker layoffs.
The National Party campaigned against foreign investment, and party chairman Jan Slota has alienated Slovakia’s 600,000-strong Hungarian minority with his nationalist rhetoric.
His party will get the education and defense ministries.