Slovak president calls on PM Matovič to step down

Čaputová criticised the government for failing to resolve coalition disputes that began in early March after the PM agreed with Russia to buy two million doses of Sputnik V without the previous coalition’s permission. [EPA-EFE/JAKUB GAVLAK]

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová called on Prime Minister Igor Matovič to resign so reconstruction of the government could begin under a new leader, in a statement broadcast live on TV on Tuesday.

Čaputová criticised the government for failing to resolve coalition disputes that began in early March after the PM agreed with Russia to buy two million doses of Sputnik V without the  coalition’s permission.

“Having three weeks of fruitless negotiations, all against the backdrop of crowded hospitals, exhausted medics, and people struggling for life, health, and dignity, is dangerous and reckless,” Čaputová said.  

The head of state spoke after she accepted the resignation of two other cabinet members: Economy Minister Richard Sulík (Freedom and Solidarity Party) and Justice Minister Mária Kolíková (For People). Altogether, four ministers have resigned in the last two weeks.

Both decided to step down following Matovič’s statement that he would be ready to resign if the partners in his four-party coalition fulfill his conditions, which included the departure of Sulík and Kolíková.   

If Matovič does not resign by Wednesday, SaS will leave the coalition, which will lead to the departure of two other cabinet members: Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok and Education Minister Branislav Grohling. However, there is no confirmation that Matovič will step down.

Meanwhile, parliament speaker Boris Kollár stated on Tuesday that his party (We Are Family) would also leave the government and insist on a snap election if parties do not reach an agreement by the end of the week. (Marián Koreň | EURACTIV.sk)

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