Of the 150-member parliament, 78 voted to oust Hager – who leads the conservative Public People’s Party which is part of a three-party minority government. The fall of the government means either that President Zuzana Caputova appoints a new Prime Minister or that the country heads towards new elections.
Holding elections ahead of schedule in 2024 could affect Slovakia’s support for neighboring Ukraine. Especially if the left-wing opposition, which is currently leading in opinion polls, comes to power. The left-wing opposition is generally critical of military aid to Kiev.
The government gradually weakened
Heger’s coalition government took power in 2020, but has since gradually declined with the Freedom and Solidarity Party exiting the coalition in September.
The latter’s party leader, Richard Solek, says he no longer trusts Heger’s government, and is particularly critical of Finance Minister Igor Matović.
Igor Matović, formerly prime minister, offered to resign to get the opposition to withdraw the vote of no confidence, but the offer was rejected by the Liberal Party.
Social Democratic Party leader Peter Pellegrini praised the result of the vote.
Heger is expected to hand in his resignation
Slovakia’s minority government lost the vote despite a last-ditch effort to win support, adding to political instability in the country as it tries to combat skyrocketing energy prices and deal with a severely weakened economy.
Prime Minister Edvard Heger is expected to tender his resignation to the president this week, who will direct the government to continue operating with limited powers until a new government is appointed.