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Slovak Ruling Parties Defer Attorney Vote, Easing Coalition Row

Slovak ruling parties agreed to defer a parliamentary vote for an attorney general to ease a crisis in the governing coalition after Premier Iveta Radicova said she’d quit if an opposition candidate got the job.

Some coalition lawmakers voted for Dobroslav Trnka, the incumbent who is supported by the opposition Smer party, in the first round of a secret ballot on Dec. 2. Governing parties will obstruct the second round of the vote tomorrow, parliamentary Speaker Richard Sulik said today in Bratislava.

The coalition will subsequently move to change legislation so the next vote, planned for early 2011, won’t be secret, he told reporters. In the previous vote, Trnka got 74 votes, one vote short of being elected, which implies six coalition deputies supported him. One member of the 150-seat house wasn’t present and two ballots were declared invalid.

The decision eases the strongest crisis within the four-party coalition, which came to power in July on pledges to eliminate corruption and improve public finances. Parliament is debating a plan to trim budget deficit to 4.9 percent of gross domestic product next year from a projected 7.8 percent in 2010.

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