The three-party minority government of Slovakia fell on Thursday after losing a vote of no confidence by just three votes.
Slovakia has been enduring months of political turmoil marred by sky-high inflation and energy costs exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and disagreements within the government parties.
MPs welcomed the government's collapse in the parliamentary chamber, erupting into applause when the results were read. Former prime minister and leader of the leftist opposition Voice - Social Democratic party Peter Pellegrini branding it "the best possible Christmas present for the people of Slovakia".
The liberal Freedom and Solidarity party, who called for the vote, withdrew from the coalition government in September, with the party leader, Richard Sulik, accusing the government of incompetence and losing its anti-corruption drive.
President Zuzana Čaputová will soon have to appoint a new prime minister, but several opposition and coalition parties have indicated they would prefer an early election, with recent polls suggesting the current opposition stand a good chance of winning.
In order to call an early ballot, a two-thirds parliamentary majority would need to be achieved in Parliament, meaning that more than 100 of the 150 Parliamentary MPs must support the measure.
One possibility is that Čaputová could ask Eduard Heger’s government to stay in office with reduced powers until an early vote can take place.