Slovak Government Loses Majority As Junior Coalition Partner Resigns

SaS leader Richard Sulik refused to continue governing with Igor Matovic’s OLaNO party. Credit:

Bratislava, Sept 5 (CTK) – The three remaining Slovak ministers from the junior coalition partner Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) have resigned, SaS leader Richard Sulik told journalists today. Sulik himself stepped down as economy minister last week.

Without SaS, the four-member coalition cabinet headed by Eduard Heger has lost its majority in parliament. Heger has announced his intention to continue governing with a minority government.

Alongside Sulik, SaS controlled the posts of foreign, education and justice minister in the government. They will leave their posts officially when they are dismissed by President Zuzana Caputova.

Heger has not announced the names of the new government ministers. He said he would probably do so next week, after consultations with President Caputova. He said the vacant ministerial seats would be filled with experts.

In early July, SaS withdrew from the four-party coalition pact and demanded Finance Minister Igor Matovic’s departure from the cabinet. SaS set 31 August as the deadline for the coalition partners to agree on a new form for the coalition, otherwise the four SaS ministers would resign. However, Matovic’s Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OLaNO) rejected the ultimatum.

Last week, OLaNO presented a list of ten measures in the sphere of social, tax and budget policy, and said Sulik should leave the government.

In response, Sulik announced his resignation and said his party would only discuss OLaNO’s proposals after the resignation of Matovic, who has refused to leave his post.

“What Slovakia is seeing under the guidance of Matovic, cannot be labelled other than breakdown. Our resignation was not due to any personal reasons. OLaNO representatives have been gambling with the nation since the first wave of COVID,” said Sulik.

“We are entering a minority government. We will negotiate with democratic lawmakers. The energy crisis is the top priority we will face,” said Heger (OLaNO).

Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad (OLaNO) did not rule out holding early elections. The regular scheduled election is set for February 2024.

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