The senior ruling leftist Smer-Social Democracy party led by former populist 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 tenet of his campaign.
Matovic wants to govern with the pro-business Freedom and Solidarity party, which captured 6.2% support and 13 seats and the conservative For People established by former President Andrej Kiska that finished with 5.8% of the vote and 12 seats.
Although the three parties would have a majority with 78 seats, Matovic said he also wanted to rule with a local ally of France’s far-right National Rally party led by Marine Le Pen, We Are Family, a populist right-wing group that placed third in Saturday’s vote with 8.2% support and 17 seats.
Matovic said he will meet the chairmen of the three parties on Thursday.