Kovác, Michal

Kováč, Michal

(mē`käl kō`väch), 1929–2016, Slovak political leader, first president of independent Slovakia (1993–98). An economist, he worked in the banking sector, served as Czechoslovakia's finance minister (1990–91), and was chairman of the Czechoslovak parliament (1992) before the breakup of the country into Slovakia and the Czech Republic (1993). During his time as Slovakia's president, a largely ceremonial post, he clashed with the autocratic prime minister, Vladimír MečiarMečiar, Vladimír,
1942–, Slovakian political leader. A member of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia, Mečiar was ousted in 1970 after having supported party reforms following the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.
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, over the country's privatization program.