The Slovak government coalition party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) has suspended its participation in the coalition until Prime Minister Igor Matovič resigns as the government crisis continues. The remaining three government parties will hold only a narrow majority in the Chamber of Deputies without SaS.
The prime minister has already expressed his willingness to resign this weekend on the condition that several requirements are met.
SaS’ move means the party will no longer participate in the coalition meetings nor be part of the negotiations regarding a solution to the government crisis until Matovič resigns.
In the meantime, the party’s deputies will vote in the Chamber of Deputies according to their own judgment.
Due to the government crisis, the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies was adjourned until next Tuesday. However, the coalition was having trouble enforcing its proposals in parliament even before SaS left.
Matovič’s party, Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO), stated shortly before Sulík’s announcement that the SaS chairman had decided to overthrow the government and that the responsibility of governing now remains with the other three coalition parties.
Although representatives of the coalition have been discussing the formation of a new government in recent days, negotiations have stalled.
“It makes no sense for us to discuss the new government with the old Prime Minister. We will continue official negotiations only after Igor Matovič resigns. We expect that these negotiations will be led by a person entrusted by the President with the formation of a new government,” said Sulík.
The For the People (Za ľudí) government party is asking for the resignation of Matovič as well. Even though it has not yet chosen an approach similar to that of SaS, according to the media, it also may leave due to the government crisis. The fourth government party, We Are The Family (Sme rodina), stated that it has no personnel requirements concerning the current government.
“Matovič is now discussing whether it is possible to keep the three-member governing coalition. He must persuade the For the People party to stay in the government. But the chairwoman of the party, Veronika Remišová, said that she only wanted to continue in the four-party coalition. If a solution is not found by the end of this week, she is allegedly ready to resign. The For the People Party would, therefore, also leave the government,” said Petr Obrovský, a Czech TV foreign correspondent.
On Thursday, other ministers also left the Slovak government. Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok and Minister of Education Branislav Gröhling (both SaS) resigned. Since the beginning of the government crisis, six of the 16 members of Matovič’s cabinet have left.
Title image: Richard Sulik, leader of the Freedom and Solidarity Party, addresses the media in reaction to the preliminary results of the general elections at its party’s headquarters in Bratislava, Slovakia, Saturday, March 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)