Slovaks Plan Direct Vote for Leader (FWD)

Fri Nov 6 23:12:33 PST 1998

Yet another country that finally has some intelligence to have a separate
election for a chief executive officer (rather than the continuous chaos with
the parliamentary legislative- executive form of government when no party has
a majority of the seats).  I do not know the details of how the Slovakia
President will be chosen- namely if a majority of the votes of the voters will
be necessary for the election of the President.
Slovaks Plan Direct Vote for Leader

.c The Associated Press 

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) -- The four parties of the ruling coalition agreed
Wednesday to change the constitution and elect Slovakia's new head of state in
direct presidential balloting. 

Under current law, the president is elected by parliament and has to gain a
three-fifth majority of votes. 

Slovakia has been without a president since March, when Michal Kovac's term
expired. The deeply divided parliament failed to elect a successor. The
Cabinet of then-Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar assumed most of the
presidential powers. 

The new coalition government was formed Oct. 30 by Prime Minister Mikulas
Dzurinda, a month after parliamentary elections and the defeat of the
governing coalition led by Meciar. 

Dzurinda said the coalition will support Rudolf Schuster as its sole
presidential candidate. 

Schuster, 64, heads the Party of Civic Understanding, the smallest coalition

Schuster was ambassador to Canada in 1990-92 and former mayor of Kosice, the
second-largest city in Slovakia. 

The direct presidential election has been a key point of contention during the
election campaign. 

The new coalition has the support of 93 deputies in the 150-seat parliament,
enough to change the constitution to introduce the popular vote for the

It was not immediately known when the new parliament would change the
constitution. The date of the election will be set afterward. 

AP-NY-11-04-98 1046EST

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