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Slovakia

Yearbook 1998

Slovakia. During the eventful year, the country detached itself from prolonged political paralysis and international isolation. The political paralysis heard that Parliament failed five times to elect a new president after the outgoing Head of State Michal Kováč. According to Countryaah, the presidential power was thus transferred to the arch-enemy of Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, who immediately exercised his extended powers and dismissed half of Slovakia's ambassadors, all appointed by Kováč.

1998 Slovakia

Four months before the parliamentary elections, the self-proclaimed Mečiar failed to persuade Parliament to change the electoral law to stop election alliances and to ban electoral propaganda in private media. It was angered by the opposition that during the election, Mečiar managed to get international celebrities to stand on the part of the dubious politician. The four opposition parties in the Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK) - which includes everything from the conservative Christian Democrats to the environmental party - won the election by a large majority even though the Mečiars Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (Hnutie za Demokrické Slovensko, HZDS) became the largest single party with 27% of the votes. As Mečiar's party lacked a coalition partner, SDK's leader, 43-year-old Mikuláš Dzurinda, had to form the new government. Some of the first decisions were to allow the overvalued Slovak krona to flow and that the president should continue to be elected directly by the people, which meant that Mečiar was completely out of Slovakia's political life. The EU, NATO and the OSCE welcomed the Slovak changes and promised to help break the country's isolation.

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