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Monday, 2 March, 1998, 15:54 GMT
No replacement for Slovakian President

The Slovakian Prime Minister, Vladimir Meciar, has welcomed the departure of his political opponent -- President Michal Kovac, who is stepping down without a successor.

The new president must be elected by parliament, but no-one has so far secured the necessary three-fifths majority.

Mr Meciar, who under the Slovakian constitution will inherit many presidential powers, has already indicated he plans to appoint new ambassadors whose nomination was blocked by Mr Kovac.

Correspondents say Slovakia could be plunged into a serious constitutional crisis if no president is appointed in time for the general elections due in September.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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