Fact Check: Slovak Technocrat Government WAS Legally Appointed

Overovanie Faktov

  • podľa: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Slovak Technocrat Government WAS Legally Appointed  Legal

Was Slovakia's government appointed in an undemocratic way, with no legitimate mandate to rule? No, that's not true: The president of Slovakia can appoint a government, usually composed of members of political parties elected to the National Council -- the Slovak Parliament -- but also of nonpartisan, nonelected technical experts (a technocrat government).

The claim appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) published by @lubos_blaha on June 13, 2023, under the title: "Odor is a neoliberal with the charisma of a ChatBot - Self-appointed Caputova's man heavily insulted in Parliament" (translated from Slovak into English by Lead Stories staff). The video opened (translated from Slovak into English by Lead Stories staff):

Now comes a human with the charisma of a chatbot to sort it all out. He has no mandate, no democratic mandate from Parliament. What is he doing here?

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Snímka obrazovky 2023-06-16 o 10.59.37.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Jun 16 08:58:16 2023 UTC)

The person speaking in the video is the opposition politician Ľuboš Blaha, harshly criticizing current Slovak Prime Minister Ludovit Odor. Since May 2023, Slovakia has had the first technocrat cabinet in its history, led by Odor, who was the Central Bank deputy governor. He was sworn in by Slovak President Zuzana Caputova with the aim of leading the country until new elections scheduled for September 2023.

Slovakia has been without a proper government since December 2022, when the coalition government led by Prime Minister Eduard Heger was ousted after losing a confidence vote called by the opposition, following months of crisis.

When the originally elected government lost the confidence vote in Parliament, a wave of criticism was raised against the recently appointed technocrat government, accompanied by conspiracy theories falsely claiming it is not a legitimate government.

The Slovak constitution itself does not specifically address the concept of a technocrat government, composed by experts not officially affiliated to any political party or coalition. However, the Constitution also does not describe other common steps that are part of forming a government -- such as entrusting the winner of the elections to form the government.

The creation of a technocrat government is a legitimate prerogative of the president of the Republic, according to article 110 of the Constitution: It is within his or her power to appoint and dismiss the prime minister and other members of the government, as Caputova did.

On June 15, 2023, the new technocrat government lost a mandatory confidence vote in Parliament, just a month after taking office, adding a new element to the political crisis in the country.

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