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Slovakia's election winner to form 4-party government

Leader of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party Igor Matovic arrives for an interview day after the Slovakia's general election in Bratislava, Sunday, March 1, 2020. The center-right populist opposition has claimed victory in the parliamentary election in Slovakia. The win ends the reign of the country's long-dominant but scandal-tainted leftist party that governed on an anti-immigration platform. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
March 14, 2020 - 8:08 AM

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - The chairman of the winning party in Slovakia's parliamentary election told the country’s president Saturday that he has agreed to form a coalition government with three other parties.

Igor Matovic and his centre-right populist opposition group Ordinary People captured 25% of the Feb. 29 vote. It has 53 seats in the 150-seat parliament.

President Zuzana Caputova asked Matovic on March 4 to lead the efforts to create a new government.

After their meeting on Saturday, Matovic said he presented the details of his Cabinet to the president. It is not clear when the new government might be sworn in.

Caputova didn’t immediately comment. Matovic and Caputova are scheduled to meet again on Monday.

Matovic agreed 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.

The victory for Ordinary People ended the reign of a long-dominant but scandal-tainted leftist party and analysts said that showed a strong desire by voters to end corruption.

The Smer-Social Democracy party led by the sitting prime minister, Robert Fico, came in second with 18.3%, or 38 seats. Fico’s party was damaged by political turmoil following the 2018 slayings of an investigative journalist and his fiancee.

The pro-western Matovic, 46, has made fighting corruption and attacking Fico the central tenets of his campaign.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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