Slovakia: Čaputová appoints caretaker government
A new chapter has begun in Slovakia’s government crisis: in the wake of several resignations, interim Prime Minister Eduard Heger sought to save parts of his cabinet, but now President Zuzana Čaputová has announced the formation of a government of experts under Ľudovít Ódor, currently Vice-Governor of the National Bank of Slovakia, which will lead the country until parliamentary elections take place on 30 September. Heger resigned as PM after Čaputová’s decision.
A justified if risky decision
Although inevitable, the decision was not easy for the president, Sme comments:
“For President Čaputová, appointing a caretaker government is an extremely difficult step as it effectively removes power from the political parties. ... Čaputová has been the target of verbal attacks for some time now, and this will only intensify now — at a time when she has to decide whether or not to run for office again. ... The reality, however, is that Slovakia is in such a deep governmental and constitutional crisis that it was necessary to appoint an interim government in a bid to calm the situation before the parliamentary elections.”
Humiliating for Heger
The end of the interim government was triggered by a corruption case, which is particularly embarassing, says Denník N:
“This government was formed three years ago due to a popular revolt against corruption during the Robert Fico era. Now it’s ending after a corruption scandal in which one minister asked another for a subsidy for his company and the latter gave it to him. It’s hard to imagine a more humiliating situation. But Heger’s disgrace has far bigger dimensions: his party, the Democrats, was supposed to help ensure that democracy was not defeated head-on by Fico and the fascists in the September elections. Heger has now helped to make this scenario less likely.”