Vladimir Mečiar

(b. 1942)

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(1942– )

Slovak politician; Prime Minister of the Slovak republic (1992–94; 1994–98). After serving the Communist regime of the former Czechoslovakia in a number of capacities, Mečiar was expelled as a dissident in 1970. He joined the Public Against Violence movement (the Slovak counterpart of the Czech Civic Forum) in 1989 as communism began to collapse in Eastern Europe. In the new Czech and Slovak Federative Republic, Mečiar, a populist nationalist, became premier of the Slovak region. He formed the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (Slovak HZDS) to campaign for greater Slovak autonomy, which led to his dismissal. However, the following year, the HZDS won a resounding victory in assembly elections, hastening creation of a separate Slovak state in January 1993 with Mečiar as Prime Minister. He resigned following a vote of no confidence in March 1994, but won a general election in October. His party was unexpectedly defeated in elections in 1998. He stood unsuccessfully in the presidential elections of 1999 and 2004.

Subjects: World History — Politics.

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