FILE – Ludovit Odour, a member of the Slovak National Bank’s Bank Board, beams on October 16, 2007, in Vienna, Austria, during the Reuters Central European Investment Summit. Odour was chosen by Zuzana Caputova to head a technocrat government on May 7, 2023, when the interim prime minister resigned.
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Ludovit Odour, the deputy governor of the central bank, was chosen by Slovak President Zuzana Caputova to head a technocrat government after caretaker Prime Minister Eduard Heger resigned on Sunday, barely months ahead of early elections in September.
Amidst a period of high inflation and conflict in the neighboring Ukraine, Slovakia, a member of the European Union and NATO has struggled through months of political uncertainty as Heger’s governing coalition has been weakened.
The political landscape of the nation is polarised ahead of an election that might be won by the strongest opposition party, which is opposed to continuing military assistance to Kyiv.
Heger, who has served as the government’s leader since 2021, most recently in a caretaker capacity, resigned in the wake of a wave of high-ranking departures and calls from the opposition to step down. After May 15, Caputova promised to announce the other members of Odor’s technocrat administration.
In a televised address, she stated, “I consider it important for a smooth ending and transfer of agendas between governments.”
Since 2018, Odour, 46, has served as Slovakia’s National Bank’s deputy governor.
In September of last year, Heger’s center-right coalition lost its majority after the libertarian SaS party resigned because it was dissatisfied with measures to aid those affected by rising energy and food prices. This tipped Slovakia into a crisis.
After Heger was defeated in a vote of no-confidence in December, MPs decided to have early elections in September.
The farm minister resigned last week as a result of a scandal involving a subsidy for a company he owns. He denied doing anything wrong. The foreign minister tendered his resignation on Friday.
As a result of the resignations, Heger is now in charge of numerous ministries, notably finance, which cannot be filled while the government is acting in a caretaker position.
According to Heger, “I made the decision to ask the president to remove my authority and to leave the president space to try with a technocrat government to stabilize and peacefully lead Slovakia to democratic parliamentary elections.”
According to polls, Robert Fico’s opposition Smer-SD party, which has opposed providing Ukraine with military assistance, is in favor.
Since Russia’s invasion, Slovakia has been a steadfast supporter of Kyiv, and in April of this year, it provided a decommissioned fleet of MiG aircraft.
With 17.7%, Smer-SD took the lead in a Focus agency poll taken last month. Peter Pellegrini, the founder of HLAS and another former prime minister, is second with 17.0%.