|Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia|
1 April 2021
|Minister of Finance|
1 April 2021
|Prime Minister of Slovakia|
21 March 2020 - 1 April 2021
|Leader of Ordinary People|
11 November 2011
|Member of the National Council|
9 July 2010 - 21 March 2020
|Born||11 May 1973|
|Political party||Ordinary People|
|Freedom and Solidarity|
Igor Matovi? (born 11 May 1973) is a Slovak politician and former businessman currently serving as Minister of Finance of Slovakia. He served as Prime Minister from March 2020 to April 2021.
Born in Trnava, he studied at Comenius University and went into the publishing business. Elected to the National Council in 2010 on the Freedom and Solidarity party list, Matovi? founded the Ordinary People (Oby?ajní ?udia) movement in 2011, which ran on an anti-corruption ticket and was politically to the centre-right. His anti-corruption campaigning has been marked out by "publicity stunts to shine a light on alleged graft" particularly focusing on parliamentary privileges and bribery.
In the 2020 election, his party obtaining a sufficient number of seats to enter into a coalition government with three other centrist and right-wing parties. Matovi?'s choices for his Cabinet were accepted by President Zuzana ?aputová and he was appointed Prime Minister on 21 March 2020. He resigned on 1 April 2021 to then be appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the Cabinet of Eduard Heger.
Igor Matovi? was born in Trnava on 11 May 1973. In 1993, he began to study at the Faculty of Management at Comenius University, graduating in 1998. He founded a business in 1997 and worked as the chief executive of Trnava publishing house regionPRESS from 2002 to 2010. Matovi? later transferred the business to his wife, Pavlína (née Repaska). Agence France-Presse described him as an "eccentric self-made millionaire and former media boss" who had become "a media-savvy but unpredictable politician".
In 2010, Matovi? founded the Ordinary People (Oby?ajní ?udia) civic movement, which was generally centre-right and emphasized anti-corruption. Matovi? advertised the civic movement using free leaflets distributed by his family's press company. Along with three other O?aNO MPs, he first won election at the 2010 election on the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) list. He sat in the SaS caucus until February the following year, when he supported the opposition Smer's proposed restrictions on Multiple citizenship. Matovi?'s opposition to the government's position led to SaS being dropped from the coalition. In 2011, Iveta Radi?ová's government fell apart, which led to new elections in 2012. Led by Matovi?, Ordinary People was reconstituted into O?aNO (Ordinary People and Independent Personalities), an independent political party. O?aNO won 8.55% and 16 seats. He stayed in the opposition as he was unwilling to work with Smer-SD.
As leader of O?aNO, Matovi? attracted attention by campaigning against corruption. To oppose parliamentary immunity, he parked his car on a pedestrian crossing and showed his parliamentary pass to police who tried to tow it; to oppose corruption, he took a polygraph test stating that he had never accepted bribes. However, Robert Fico accused Matovi? of impropriety in effecting a fictitious sale of the regionPRESS business for 122 million Slovak koruna to employee Pavel Vandák, who supposedly got the money from an internal account. Matovi? denies this.
Matovi?'s party O?aNO got the plurality of votes in the 2020 Slovak parliamentary election on 29 February 2020, winning 53 seats in the 150-member National Council with 25.02% of the vote. Corruption was a major issue in the election, which helped Matovi?, who had long positioned himself as an anti-corruption activist. On 13 March, Matovi? announced he had reached an agreement for a governing coalition with the other centrist and right-wing parties We Are Family, Freedom and Solidarity and For the People, though they had not agreed upon a common governing program. He did not disclose his picks for the new cabinet. Matovi? submitted his cabinet selection to President Zuzana ?aputová on 16 March; she accepted all of the appointments. The new cabinet's composition was revealed on 18 March and was sworn in on 21 March.
Sociologist of the Bratislava Policy Institute, Michal Va?e?ka, stated that "Matovi? has started to transform the anger of the society into a class war: city vs. countryside, educated vs. uneducated, common people vs. the elites." He suggested that it would result in political polarization.
In July 2020, Matovi? admitted to plagiarizing his masters' thesis after an investigation from Denník N found that entire pages and charts were lifted from the sources. He said he would step down after all his election promises were fulfilled. Comenius University in Bratislava confirmed the plagiarism of the master's thesis.
In March 2021, MP and chair of the parliamentary European affairs committee Tomá? Valá?ek announced his quitting from the government coalition and the For the People party in reaction to the purchase and subsequent arrival of the first 200,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine which Matovi? and Minister of Health Marek Kraj?í welcomed at the Ko?ice airport. Following weeks of negotiations during the government crisis which ensued, Matovi? resigned as Prime Minister on 30 March 2021. A new government was appointed with former Minister of Finance Eduard Heger of O?ANO becoming Prime Minister.