Heger’s Government Obtains Confidence from Parliament, 89 MPs Support It

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House vote on Government Manifesto {photo by TASR}

Bratislava, May 4 (TASR) – Eduard Heger’s (OLaNO) Cabinet obtained a vote of confidence from Parliament on Tuesday, as 89 of the 144 MPs who took part in the vote supported the Government Manifesto, thus expressing their confidence in the reconstructed Government.

Fifty-five MPs voted against the Government Manifesto. Heger’s Cabinet needed the votes of at least 76 MPs to obtain confidence.

MPs for the coalition OLaNO, We Are Family, Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and For the People parties voted for the manifesto, while the entire opposition Smer-SD and LSNS caucuses voted against it, as did all Independent MPs. Six MPs didn’t take part in the vote – Jan Kerekreti and Martin Cepcek of OLaNO, Jana Bitto Ciganikova and Radovan Sloboda of SaS, Jaroslav Baska of Smer-SD and Independent MP Stefan Kuffa.

The parliamentary debate on the Government Manifesto was completed on Monday night, after around 40 MPs had joined the it on Friday (April 30) and Monday (May 3). The session ended with Tuesday’s vote.

The Government Manifesto has 131 pages and 18 chapters. There are no significant changes to it from the original document of April 2020. The initial chapter is again dedicated to the fight against corruption, the final one to culture. An update for the previous year and the executive’s activities during the coronavirus pandemic is included.

The Government declares that its “revitalised” manifesto includes ambitious but realistic goals to increase the quality of people’s lives. The Cabinet is aware of the fact that its potential failure would have a devastating effect on the country and that growing distrust in the political system would strengthen extremism. The opposition declared in advance that it wouldn’t support the Government Manifesto.

Heger’s Government was appointed by President Zuzana Caputova on April 1 after the former finance minister swapped his post with then prime minister Matovic in order to resolve a crisis in the governing coalition of four parties: OLaNO, We Are Family, SaS and For the People. According to the Constitution, the cabinet is obliged to appear before Parliament within 30 days of its appointment, submit its manifesto and ask MPs to express their confidence in it.

Meanwhile, MPs rejected a proposal to amend a resolution on the Government Manifesto submitted by Smer-SD, via which the party wanted to express Parliament’s concern over the fact that the Government has ignored tragic events, along with the economic, social and financial consequences of the pandemic in its manifesto. It also proposed scrapping mass testing, an immediate vote on extending the state of emergency in Parliament and setting up a parliamentary commission to examine responsibility for negative phenomena related to the pandemic.