Slovak Coalition Crumbles as Pressure on Premier to Resign Rises


The political turmoil over the purchase of Russian coronavirus vaccines is tearing apart Slovakia’s ruling coalition and increasing pressure on the prime minister to resign.

A junior coalition party “suspended” its membership in the ruling alliance on Thursday until Prime Minister Igor Matovic steps down and allows a wider government reshuffle. Matovic’s party still formally holds a majority with two other groups in parliament, though the legislature has been paralyzed since the crisis broke out three weeks ago.

The center-right Freedom and Solidarity party pulled its three ministers from the 16-member cabinet this week, bringing the total number of resignations to six this month. Its leader, Richard Sulik, said Thursday that he’s against early elections.

The slow-motion government disintegration is unfolding as the European Union and NATO member suffers from one of Europe’s deadliest Covid-19 outbreaks.

The ruling alliance had been continually rocked by infighting and personal disputes since taking power. It did, however, still manage to enact a wide anti-corruption sweep of the police, the judiciary and business circles.

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