Crisis in Slovakia: President Čaputová calls on PM Matovič to resign

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The left-leaning Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová called on the populist prime minister, Igor Matovič, to resign, Čaputová told journalists after accepting the resignation of the fourth of 16 government members in connection to the government crisis.

“It is inevitable that the prime minister, with his resignation, enables the conclusion of an agreement between coalition partners on the reconstruction of the government. The position of any person is not and must not be more important than the interest of the country and its citizens,” said Čaputová.

Two smaller parties in a four-member government coalition also demand the resignation of Matovič, who seems to keep setting conditions

Čaputová has been pushing for Matovič’s resignation for a week.

“It turned out that time did not help the situation. The government crisis continues to deepen. Today, I accepted the fourth resignation of a member of the government and the other two ministers announce their departure from the government,” she said.

The government crisis erupted in Slovakia a few weeks ago after Matovič approved the use of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V to Slovakia. For a long time, however, disagreements between Matovič and the chairman of the coalition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, Richard Sulík, were ongoing. 

“To calm the situation during the government’s negotiations, we consider the departure of the Minister of the Economy Richard Sulík from the government to be inevitable,” Matovič said in a statement on Sunday.

On Tuesday, Sulík submitted his resignation to Čaputová. On Thursday, two more SaS ministers announced their resignation — the head of diplomacy, Ivan Korčok, and the Minister of Education, Branislav Gröhling.

The Matovič government, led by his part Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OLaNO) has previously been abandoned by the Minister of Health Marek Krajčí (OLaNO) and the Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Family Milan Krajniak (We are a Family). However, this did not solve the government crisis.

Title image: Zuzana Čaputová (Facebook)

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