Czechoslovakia's federal parliament yesterday rejected the candidacy of Miroslav Sladek for the post of federal president.
Mr. Sladek, leader of the far-right Republican Party, was the sole candidate in yesterday's vote. Only 58 of 300 deputies voted for Sladek in a secret ballot. If a candidate fails to win a three-fifths majority in the first attempt, a second vote is held for a simple majority.
Sladek lacks the support of the two largest parties - the Czech Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and the Slovak Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS).
The ODS has said it would reject any candidate other than current President Vaclav Havel. The HZDS, led by Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar, blocked Mr. Havel's bid for reelection and rejects Sladek both for his right-wing militancy and his insistence on the preservation of a centralized Czechoslovak federation.
Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus and Mr. Meciar have agreed to negotiate a future setup of the country by September.