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Tuesday, 3 March, 1998, 22:27 GMT
Meciar overturn rival's decisions

One day after assuming presidential powers, the Slovak prime minister, Vladimir Meciar, has overturned decisions taken by his longstanding rival, the former President, Michael Kovac.

The measures include dismissing nearly half the country's ambassadors and scrapping a new referendum on the introduction of direct presidential elections.

A controversial vote last year failed after Mr Meciar removed questions on the issue -- a move widely criticised by European countries and the Slovak opposition.

The Slovak parliament has failed to elect a successor to Mr Kovac whose term expired on Monday.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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