Slovak Premier's Key Ally to Resign as Political Crisis Deepens

Slovak Premier's Key Ally to Resign as Political Crisis Deepens

Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak resigned on Monday amid nationwide outrage at the murder of an investigative journalist and his fiancee. They were the biggest protests in Slovakia since the 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution.

However, Mr Fico's junior coalition partner, the Most-Hid group, demanded the resignation of Mr Kalinak in exchange for continued support. As interior minister, he was responsible for overseeing the country's police force.

Slovakia's interior minister will resign to prevent the collapse of Prime Minister Robert Fico's government, which is trying to fend off calls for early elections following the murder of an investigative journalist.

"I think to fulfill my mandate, I have to do everything to preserve stability in Slovakia", Kalinak told reporters in Bratislava. Authorities estimated 50,000 people had rallied in Bratislava out of a population of 5.4 million.

Leader of the Most-Híd party Bela Bugar has announced that the Republican Council of the party entrusts the party leadership to discuss a possibility of early parliamentary elections that are to be held as soon as possible. Ficos' Smer-Social Democracy party is allegedly also linked to other corruption scandals.

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Kuciak's last, unfinished story was about the activities of the Italian mafia in Slovakia and alleged ties to people close to Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Kuciak had been looking into fraud cases involving politically-connected businessmen.

Critics argue Mr Kalinak, who oversees the police as interior minister, can not guarantee an independent investigation into the killing of Mr Kuciak and his fiancee.

Tens of thousands of Slovaks marched in cities across the country on Friday demanding the resignations of Kalinak and the police chief, saying Fico's government had failed to tackle high-level corruption.

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