Slovakia – Less than five months after having lost its majority in the National Council, Eduard Heger’s center-right coalition government, which was supposed to be in charge of current affairs until the early parliamentary elections scheduled for September 30, has just been shaken by a new governmental crisis.
Ministers leaving a sinking boat
Last Friday, just a few days after the ministers of health and finance had left the Heger government, Agriculture Minister Samuel Vlčan was suddenly forced out because of business relations between his family’s company and the environmental ministry that were deemed incompatible with his own ministerial position. Vlčan’s departure was then followed by the resignation of Foreign Affairs Minister Rastislav Káčer, a close ally of Prime Minister Eduard Heger.
Prime Minister Eduard Heger’s resignation
Just as a meeting was scheduled for late Sunday afternoon between the head of government and President Zuzana Čaputová to discuss measures for carrying out the government’s tasks until the elections, Prime Minister Eduard Heger announced his resignation, taking Čaputová, who apparently intended to remove him from office anyway, by surprise.
Čaputová will appoint a “government of experts”
Zuzana Čaputová has therefore decided to appoint a government of experts by mid-May to serve as an interim government. This “presidential” cabinet will be headed by economist Ľudovít Ódor, who was previously the National Bank of Slovakia’s deputy governor (since 2018), after having served as an advisor to Prime Minister Iveta Radičová and Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš between 2010 and 2012.
On the opposition’s side, former prime ministers Robert Fico (Smer) and Peter Pellegrini (Hlas) are now demanding that the early parliamentary elections be held in July instead of September.