Slovak PM Heger Resigns From OLaNO Party Seven Months Ahead of Election
Heger became the Prime Minister two years ago after a crisis in the ruling coalition. Photo credit: Eduard Heger – predseda vlády SR, via Facebook.
Bratislava, March 7 (CTK) – Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger will leave the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OLaNO) movement, less than seven months before the snap general election scheduled for September, he announced on social media last night.
Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad is also quitting the party, reported the Slovak daily Sme. Both politicians have been indicating for several weeks that they would leave the movement.
“I have my own vision of politics. I know that if I want to fulfil it, I must follow my own path,” wrote Heger, without elaborating on his next steps.
“Good luck and thanks for the journey together,” wrote OLaNO leader Igor Matovic on Facebook in reaction to Heger’s post.
Some Slovak government politicians previously said Heger should remain at the head of the government even if he leaves OLaNO. Heger became the Prime Minister two years ago after a crisis in the ruling coalition, when Matovic resigned as the head of government to resolve it.
Following another coalition crisis and the departure of the Freedom and Solidarity Party (SaS) from the government, the parliament voted no confidence in the Heger minority government last December. President Zuzana Caputova then assigned the cabinet to continue with limited powers only.
After the government fell, Matovic quit as finance minister, as part of Heger’s agreement with SaS in exchange for supporting this year’s state budget. Previously, Heger had repeatedly defended Matovic, even when SaS demanded Matovic’s departure from the coalition cabinet.
Nad has previously stated that Matovic’s views were too conservative and that Slovak voters are lacking a pro-reform option with a clear course in foreign policy.
OLaNO won the 2020 general election in Slovakia with 25% of the vote. However, the popularity of the movement and of Matovic himself has been falling ever since. OLaNO are currently polling below 10%, and Matovic ranks among the least popular politicians in the country.
The most popular parties are currently Hlas-SD, led by ex-PM Peter Pellegrini, and Smer-SD, led by the previous long-standing PM Robert Fico. Pellegrini founded Hlas-SD in 2020 after leaving Smer-SD.