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Eduard Heger leaves Igor Matovič’s OL’aNO party to found the “Democrats” party

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Slovakia – Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger, whose government was outvoted in the National Council on 15 December, is now conducting day-to-day business pending the early parliamentary elections, which will take place on 30 September. He is also leaving the sinking ship: On 6 March, he announced his departure on Facebook from Igor Matovič’s OL’aNO movement, currently the biggest coalition partner in the minority government:

My story with OL’aNO is ending today.

I consider my time at OĽaNO one of the most important stages in my life. The movement trusted me and gave me the opportunity to be part of the government, and later to lead our country. I have come a long way with the movement. We have had some hard times and some good times. We have also made mistakes, because we are not perfect, and because we are only human. But a better Slovakia was our priority.

Today, my role and mission within the movement have been fulfilled.

I have my own vision of politics. I know that if I want to achieve it, I have to follow my own path.

Life simply brings situations where we have to make choices; and this is what I am doing today.

At a press conference that was held on 7 March, the Slovak PM announced that he was joining Miroslav Kollár’s liberal-conservative centre-right “Together – Blue Coalition” party, which will now become the “Democrats” party (Demokrati), and Heger will be its new leader:

I stand before you today as the leader of the Democratic Party”,

he said. His fellow party members include Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď, Economy Minister Karel Hirman, Environment Minister Ján Budaj, and Foreign Affairs Minister Rastislav Káčer.

Demokrati defines itself as a centre-right party, the same as OL’aNO. Eduard Heger has said that he wanted the party to be focused on the defence of human and individual rights. Slovakia’s Democrats intends to be a technocratic party that will be opposed to populism, according to Heger.

They will refuse to cooperate with the “populist” centre-left parties: the Smer-SD of former Prime Minister Robert Fico and the Hlas-SD of former Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, as well as the right-wing SNS party and the nationalist parties L’SNS and Republika.