uAmid turbulent circumstances, the Slovakian parliament voted no confidence in Prime Minister Eduard Heger’s government on Thursday evening. This was preceded by several days of negotiations and dodges, with which the minority coalition fought against its fall. The main demand of the critics was the resignation of Finance Minister Igor Matovič, who is also the chairman of the strongest governing party, Olano.
In fact, Matovič turned up at President Zuzana Čaputová’s headquarters on Thursday afternoon and already signed his resignation there. However, according to Slovak media, which was confirmed by the Presidential Office, he then snatched his resignation letter from the clerk and tore it up. Parliament then voted in favor of the motion of no confidence, which had been debated since Tuesday, by 78 of the 150 MPs, of whom only 102 were present.
No-confidence motion by the opposition party SaS
How to proceed is now in the hands of the President. In the evening she met Prime Minister Heger (a member of Olano’s Matovičs party) and Parliament Speaker Boris Kollar (chairman of the previous governing party We Are Family). It can instruct the previous government to continue business, either for a longer period of time or until an expert government is appointed.
The liberal SaS party, chaired by Richard Sulík, tabled the motion of no confidence. He was a member of the government until last summer, but then withdrew himself and his party because of Matovič’s incessant arbitrary actions. The latest volte fits in with this: Shortly before the vote, Sulík announced that he had reached an agreement with Matovič about his withdrawal, which was a condition of the SaS for continuing to tolerate the Heger government. But that was an agreement from which Matovič withdrew again. Matovič himself described the scene at the presidential seat as saying that after signing his resignation, he telephoned a confidante who urged him to continue fighting the “mafia”. He then decided not to “bow his head in front of the SaS”, changed his mind and took back the original and copy of the resignation letter.
Will there be new elections?
Early elections would only be possible if the constitution were changed. This would require a three-fifths majority in Parliament. This possibility was part of the bargaining chip in the past few days. But recently both the SaS and the Olano shied away from it. The necessary 90 votes cannot be achieved without their deputies – so despite the deep opposition that has developed between their party leaders, they together form a blocking minority. However, due to the turbulence of the past few days, the unity of the blocks is not guaranteed. This is now being further negotiated.