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Slovak government fell, country likely to face snap election

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I am Joel Fitzgerald, a news website author for The News Dept. I have worked in the media and journalism industry for over 10 years and specialize in world news. My articles have been featured in prominent publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, where I am an expert contributor on global affairs.I also write extensively on topics related to politics, economics, business, finance and technology. My work has been recognized with numerous awards from organizations such as the United Nations Press Corps and Associated Press Editors Association of America (APEA).In addition to my writing career, I have held various roles within the field of communications ranging from public relations specialist to digital strategist.

The Slovak government fell after fierce fighting. 78 of the 102 deputies present stated that they did not trust him. The opposition needed 76 votes out of 150 to overthrow the cabinet.

MPs from Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO), the most powerful government movement led by Prime Minister Eduard Heger, walked out before the vote. Michal Šipoš, head of the parliamentary club, said they did not want to participate in the ritual execution of their government.

Slovak media writes that if the government resigns with limited powers, it will continue to function and it is likely that early election debates will begin.

Sulik overthrew the government for the second time

Richard Sulík, head of the Slovak Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, can “celebrate”. He succeeded in overthrowing the government for the second time in history.

For the first time in 2012, her party rejected the so-called Eurowall and expressed distrust of Iveta Radičová’s government. SaS was then a member of the coalition. Early elections followed, and Robert Fico’s two governments ended in mass protests against corruption and the mafia, following the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak.

This time, SaS has already been “attacked” from the ranks of the opposition, although its ministers are still sitting in the government of Eduard Heger at the end of August this year. Eventually, Sulík managed to defeat the cabinet with the help of other opposition parties, thereby humiliating his political boss, Igor Matovič.

There were delays and dramatic events before the vote of no confidence. Shortly before the no-confidence vote, Sulík appeared before MPs and announced that Prime Minister Heger had promised him Matovič’s resignation. He said the head of OĽaNO came to the presidency on Thursday to submit his resignation, but at the last moment changed his mind and snatched the document from a palace employee.

His words were later confirmed by the presidency. “He signed his resignation in front of a presidential employee, but at the last moment changed his mind and snatched the signed document from the hand of the head of KP SR (Office of the President of the Slovak Republic, noted.) Špaček method. Therefore, the resignation was not handed over to KP SR.”

Matovič’s maneuver did not work

Matovič attempted a maneuver Thursday afternoon and offered his resignation in exchange for the annulment of the no-confidence vote. The SaS party rejected such a political agreement.

The unpredictable head of the OĽaNO movement, famous for his eccentric Facebook posts, was forced by SaS to resign as prime minister just last spring. However, he remained in government as finance minister and continued his political style, namely his chaotic steps, undermining his own government and quarreling with Sulík.

Photo: Marko Erd/SME, Profimedia.cz

Richard Sulik, chairman of the SaS party.

Political negotiations and delays preceded the no-confidence vote. The opposition needed 76 votes out of 150 to overthrow the cabinet. Even on Monday, Heger’s minority government looked like it could negotiate the support of independent lawmakers who were on the tip of the scales.

But in the end, the government was swept away by non-affiliated MPs and, moreover, by colleagues from their coalition ranks.

Club breakup We are a family

On Tuesday, when the first ballot will take place, two lawmakers from the ruling We Are the Family party announced that they will vote against the government.

One of them, Martin Borguľa, on trial for corruption, made his vote for the government conditional on the resignation of the Minister of the Interior. He refused such a political agreement. On Tuesday morning, the MP left Kollár’s parliamentary club and joined his cabinet opponents.

Fico’s star rises again

The electoral preferences of the ruling parties are currently record low among Slovaks, while former Prime Minister Robert Fico’s Smér party would now finish second in the election. The politician increases his rhetoric and does not shy away from anti-EU and pro-Russian statements.

On Thursday morning, another party member joined the duo, once again demonstrating the coalition’s disintegrating support. He mentioned that other political conditions were not met.

There are now a number of scenarios for further political development. Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, who has slightly stronger powers than the Czech head of state, will play a key role in all of them.

it’s the president’s turn

One possible scenario is the early election that Hlas Peter Pellegrini and Smér Robert Fico have long called for. Recently, Boris Kollár, a member of the governing coalition, also spoke on their behalf.

In order to hold elections, that is, to shorten the election period, a constitutional law that requires 90 deputies in the parliament must be adopted. Ordinary parliamentary elections will be held in February 2023.

Had there been an early election, Heger’s resigning cabinet could have ruled by then.

According to the Slovak constitution, Heger’s rise to power would be associated with the restriction of the performance of certain functions related to “main questions of domestic, foreign, social and economic policy”. This will probably also apply to possible measures in the energy sector.

In addition, the actions of the government will be subject to the approval of the president.

Political turmoil in Slovakia

This week we have consistently reported on the rapid political events in Slovakia in various texts:

It is unlikely that the current coalition will succeed in regrouping and forming a new government after Heger’s overthrow. Richard Sulík also denied the prior extradition of SaS to the government. But he did not rule out the indulgence of the re-established government.

On the other hand, Pellegrini and Fico, the far-right and non-affiliated, cannot unite the government majority. For example, Slovakia’s overtly pro-Western and pro-EU foreign policy, which has supported Ukraine in its defense against Russia from the beginning, should therefore not change significantly until the elections.

Another option is an official government elected by Čaputová. But such a cabinet will most likely not gain confidence in parliament and will only be “maintained”.

Čaputová has repeatedly stated that a bureaucratic government “is not the dream or aspiration of any rationally minded president”.

What does early election mean now?

Elections would not be held immediately, and voter preferences would also affect the campaign. But current surveys can tell a lot. According to the figures of the Focus agency published by Markiza TV on Sunday, the Hlas party would now win the election.

Former Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini’s party has been leading the polls for a long time and maintains around 20 percent of the vote. Said Fitz Direction would now finish second with almost 16 percent. Liberal Progressive Slovakia will enter parliament for the first time with 10 percent.

pageconclusion (%)
progressive Slovakia10.3
we are a family7.3
Source: focus agency for TV Markíza, data collection 30/11 – 12/7/2022

It is followed by the far-right Republika, followed by Sulík’s SaS.

Ruling parties Jsme familia and OĽaNO each have seven percent, and the third governing party, Zalidi, founded by former president Andrej Kiska, failed to even enter parliament.

The Christian-democratic KDH and Hungarian Minority Alliance party will also enter the parliament with a total of ten parties. It will therefore be difficult to form a government now.

If Pellegrini wanted to rule with Fico, he would have had to rely on two more beings. Even a broad centre-right coalition of six parties, or a coalition of Hlas and centre-right parties, will not currently have a majority.

Source: Seznam Zpravy

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