New Slovak government sworn in amid coronavirus outbreak
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — A four-party coalition government took office in Slovakia on Saturday, with the coronavirus outbreak an immediate policy challenge.
All those present at the swearing-in ceremony with President Zuzana Caputova wore protective face masks and gloves. Slovakia currently has 137 confirmed cases.
The coalition government, which has a parliamentary majority, is led by Igor Matovic, whose center-right Ordinary People captured 25% of the Feb. 29 vote.
The pro-western Matovic, 46, made fighting corruption the central plank of his election campaign.
Matovic struck a deal to govern with the pro-business Freedom and Solidarity party; the conservative For People, a party established by former President Andrej Kiska; and We Are Family, a populist right-wing group that is allied with France’s far-right National Rally party.
Ordinary People will have eight members in the Cabinet, including the post of prime minister and the ministers of defense, finance, health and interior.
Freedom and Solidarity and We Are Family will control three ministries each while For People will have two.
We Are Family chairman Boris Kollar became Parliament’s speaker.
The election ended the long dominance of the scandal-tainted Smer-Social Democracy, a left-of-center party led by former Prime Minister Robert Fico.