Ukraine War Is Critical in Slovakia’s Elections

In a country that had relied on cheap gas from Russia, the pro-Zelensky prime minister has resigned and a technocratic caretaker government faces a confidence vote in Parliament. 

Slovakia’s former Prime Minister Robert Fico in 2016; a vocal opponent of the government’s support for  Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, his party leads in polling. (Andrej Klizan, Wikimedia Commons)

By  Peoples Dispatch

The political and economic crisis inflicted by the ongoing war in Ukraine has been causing political instability across European countries.

While European leaders continue trying to politically and financially isolate Russia through sanctions and other punitive measures, the repercussions have led to worsening living standards in most of the countries, triggering widespread protests against their respective political leaderships.

In Slovakia, the coalition government led by Eduard Heger, a staunch ally of Kiev in the war against Russia, lost its parliamentary majority in December last year due to internal differences over the failure to tackle soaring inflation and the energy crisis.

While Heger continued in power as the head of a caretaker government, he was forced to step down earlier this month due to disarray in his coalition.

President Zuzana Caputová has installed a technocrat caretaker cabinet headed by central bank deputy governor L’udovít Ódor to run the government till the general elections scheduled for Sept. 30. The new caretaker government has to face a confidence vote in parliament within 30 days.

Slovakia's Eduard Heger with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev, April 8, 2022. (, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

April 8, 2022: Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger, left, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev. (, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Heger became the prime minister of Slovakia on April 1, 2021, heading the coalition government led by the conservative populist platform Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OL’aNO). He came to power following a cabinet reshuffle, demanded by the coalition partners to replace prime minister and OL’aNo chief Igor Matovic. 

From the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Heger was an active supporter of the Volodymyr Zelensky-led regime in Kiev and has provided arms and ammunition, including a fleet of MiG fighters, helicopters, an air defense system, anti-tank missiles.

Energy Crisis & Inflation 

Meanwhile, an energy crisis brought on by sanctions on Russian oil supply and profiteering by energy giants spread across Europe over the last year. This led to a deterioration in living standards in Slovakia, with high fuel and food costs.

Cheap gas from Russia had been a major source of energy for Slovakia. In the wake of sanctions, inflation in the country was around 14 percent in April. 


In the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis last year, the Freedom and Solidarity Party (SaS) withdrew its support to the coalition government led by Heger and the minority government lost a vote of non-confidence pushed by the opposition in December 2022. Seventy eight legislators supported the no-confidence motion in the 150-seat National Council.

However, Heger has continued to lead a caretaker government. On May 7, Heger resigned as prime minister, left OL’aNO, and joined the center-right pro-European party, the Democrats.

Meanwhile, in the latest opinion polls for the upcoming parliamentary elections, the left-wing populist party Direction-Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD), led by former Prime Minister Robert Fico is in the lead. Fico is a vocal opponent of Slovakia’s support to Ukraine and sanctions on Russia.

Slovakia’s President Zuzana Caputová addressing European Parliament in 2022. (European Parliament/Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Several sections are also dissatisfied with Caputová’s decision to appoint a technocrat-led caretaker government, rather than consulting the parliamentary parties.

On May 11, Artur Bekmatov, from the leadership of the left-wing movement Socialisti, said that “by refusing to negotiate with representatives of selected parties represented in the National Council of Slovakia, president Zuzana Caputová not not only showed disrespect to tens of thousands of voters who voted for these parties, but also undermined her nominees. This is not the action of either a statesman or a bipartisan president.”

This article is from Peoples Dispatch.  

Views expressed in this article may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

Support CN’s Spring

Fund Drive Today


11 comments for “Ukraine War Is Critical in Slovakia’s Elections

  1. Robert Sinuhe
    May 24, 2023 at 10:26

    It’s hard to understand why Europe got behind this war knowing how it started. It’s frightening that so many stupid people are running governments.

    • Valerie
      May 24, 2023 at 12:17

      “It’s frightening that so many stupid people are running governments.”

      More frightening is the fact they all get off the hook for their misdeeds. Just look at the UK lot.

  2. mikjall
    May 24, 2023 at 10:25

    Point of curiosity—Why is Hungary’s inflation so high, given that the Hungarians have not cooperated in the sanctions that would conflict with their own national interests? Could this be due to EU sanctions on Hungary (or “punishments”) for not participating in this bit of EURO-insanity? On a fashion note, it looks as if Zalenskyy put on a clean pair of pajamas for his interview with Heger—more than he did for the US Congress.

  3. Allets
    May 23, 2023 at 23:42

    Several sections are also dissatisfied with Caputová’s decision to appoint a technocrat-led caretaker government, rather than consulting the parliamentary parties.

  4. Rigoberto Lopez
    May 23, 2023 at 20:07

    “The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.”

    — Voltaire

  5. Jeff Harrison
    May 23, 2023 at 17:57

    Well, Donnie Murdo said that trade wars were easy to win and then lost the one he started with China. The US seems to think that they can endlessly escalate the proxy war with Russia without risk. Good Luck. Fools.

  6. Drew Hunkins
    May 23, 2023 at 16:08

    RIP Stephen Lendman

  7. DD
    May 23, 2023 at 15:13

    We now know that the Minsk Agreement and the Normandy format were negotiated in bad faith. The excuse/explanation being that Ukraine needed time to prepare for the expected Russian “onslaught.” In fact stall has to be interpreted as a tacit admission that the West/NATO was set on going to war since at least 2014. This preparatory period explanation is further undermined by the immediate attack by Kiev on the Donbas population. The attack on the Donbas is not consistent with a need to stall to prepare defenses. The move on the Donbas was undoubtably supported by the Kagan gang which would include HRC. So the question I pose was this preparatory period devoted exclusively or even primarily to dig some trenches or did it include the need for political change it various Western nations, including the U.S.
    In the weeks prior to the 2016 U.S. election Obama, oddly, was pushing for a vote in Congress on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) something that was never going to happen, but would necessarily remind everyone that Bill Clinton signed NAFTA. During this same period the press was breathlessly reporting that ACA rates were going to increase by 40% and that health insurance companies were going to pull out of many rural counties, whatever that actually meant. I am not aware that Obama or his admin. ever refuted these prophecies. My perch was in the 7th Wi. C.D. When January, 2017 came and went and there was no substantive change in the ACA I became suspicious that there was a feeling or decision that HRC could not govern. There were other indications, such as HRC going around the country and picking up her bribes before the election, exposing her as thoroughly corrupt, instead of waiting until she left office like Billy and Barry. Initially I suspected that it was felt that she couldn’t govern effectively because Sanders showed the country that she held a minority position among Democrats and her election and governance would strengthen the left populist movement. I now strongly suspect the 2016 election election can be understood in terms of preparing for this war. The 2014 “f the E.U.” showed an amateurish lack of diplomatic sensitivity for the need to get Europe on board for this adventure and the primary reason to push HRC aside. So yes, I believe there was collusion in the 2016 election.
    There are other indications of early planning in the West for this war. We now know that planning for the Russiagate scenario, which can only be interpreted as part of the war preparation, began at least by July, 2016. The kicker for me was the release of the transcript (Spring 2019?) in which the chief at Crowdstrike testified in a closed House hearing in Dec., 2017 that he had no evidence of Trump/Russia collusion. Am I suppose to believe that Trump, who didn’t run with the revelation, was not aware of it?
    From my low perch I can see the installation of an unexperienced government of 31 year olds, who all happen to be women, in the key country of Finland. The attack on Jeremy Corbin who I believe would be playing a very different role in the U.K., the destruction of The Left party in Germany with the Greens picking up the same 8% of the vote and getting the two key positions in the government all suggest war planning. Now I’m reading that Slovakia had an 11th hour change in government that clearly impacted its support for this war. Where else have curious events occurred in the 2014-2022 period?
    Now Sullivan are digging in for an unfeasible attack on Crimea with, to put it mildly, dire implications. The explanation that Crimea was transferred to the Ukraine because, why , Krushev was Ukrainian, Soviet bureaucrats had nothing better to do, or it’s simply inexplicable and this transfer, where the Soviet Union and now Russia’s only western warm water port exits and this happened at the end of the C.I.A.’s active war in the Ukraine against the Soviet government. I simply cannot believe that this transfer was not part of a settlement and that this was something wanted in the bowels of the west and the Soviets couldn’t conceive of a future problem.

  8. Valerie
    May 23, 2023 at 12:37

    All i have to say is, i hope everyone involved in this provocation and relentless hounding of Russia, are satisfied with all the consequences, threat of world war and upheaval they have wrought.
    Stupid humans.

    • CaseyG
      May 24, 2023 at 13:05

      Sigh—-and as the weather on Earth does not need any more wars—-and truly, it does seem as if sooner than later, Earth will resemble what Mars looks like today—-Hmmm there was water there , once upon a time.
      But thank goodness that the horrible HRC person did not win anything, although Trump was horrible enough. PLEASE die away HRC……Hillary ROTTEN…

      • Valerie
        May 24, 2023 at 20:58

        And anyone coming down to earth to find water will be hard pressed to find any. Like the film “the man who fell to earth” starring David Bowie.

Comments are closed.