The fate of the ruling coalition is in Igor Matovič's hands

One year after being appointed, the Matovič government is close to splitting or collapse.

PM Igor MatovičPM Igor Matovič (Source: SITA)

This time last year, the Slovak public was guessing who the ministers in the soon-to-be-appointed cabinet of Igor Matovič would be. Politicians were preparing for the ceremony about to take place under strict measures, with gloves, masks and social distancing, as the pandemic gained speed in Slovakia.

Nearly one year since ministers were appointed on March 21, 2020, Igor Matovič’s cabinet has already lost two ministers – health minister Marek Krajčí and labour minister Milan Krajniak.

Economy Minister Richard Sulík of SaS and the other two ministers nominated by the junior coalition party, Education Minister Branislav Gröhling and Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok, say they are ready to quit the government, too. They conditioned their stay in the coalition with the resignation of PM Matovič. Another junior coalition party, Za Ľudí, joined their call for Matovič to step down.

The cabinet has been in a major crisis for weeks. Partners oppose the ruling and communication style of the prime minister.

"He is unable to lead the government in this difficult situation from a managerial, personal and communication point of view," SaS leader Sulík said about Matovič.

Both he and Veronika Remišová offered their ministerial posts, meaning that the solution would be the leaders of coalition parties withdrawing from cabinet positions.

By giving an ultimatum to Matovič, SaS effectively put the future of the coalition in the prime minister's hands. One week before their ultimatum expires, he does not appear to be close to resigning.

“If Matovič does not want to resign, there is nothing left for his critics than to leave the coalition or come to terms with Igor Matovič as PM,” political analyst Michal Cirner from Prešov University told The Slovak Spectator.

The analyst does not expect the latter to happen, which brings Slovakia closer to a minority government and even early election. “Everything is up to Matovič.”

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