Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic has agreed to resign under certain conditions, offering a way out of a coalition deadlock triggered by a dispute over the government’s coronavirus crisis management.
Matovic offered to step down as premier and remain in the cabinet only as a minister in the future, dpa news agency quoted the local TASR media outlet as saying in a report on Sunday evening.
Among other things, the 47-year-old made it a condition that Economy Minister Richard Sulik and Justice Minister Maria Kolikova leave the government altogether.
The two belong to the coalition parties Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and For the People (Za ludi), respectively.
“We consider it absolutely imperative that Richard Sulik leaves the government in order to bring peace to the cabinet,” Matovic said on behalf of his party Olano.
The dispute with coalition partners erupted when Matovic unilaterally secured vials of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, angering his coalition partners, who had wanted to wait for EU approval of the vaccine.
The conservative-populist Matovic has been Prime Minister of Slovakia, with its almost 5.5 million inhabitants, for exactly one year.
According to a recent poll, the opposition Social Democrats would be the strongest force in new elections.
They would get 21.4 per cent, followed by the Olano with 11.3 per cent and the SaS with 10.3 per cent.