Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and his government resigned on Thursday, following the assassination of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend.
President Andrej Kiska accepted the resignation and asked Deputy Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini to form the next government.
Mr Pellegrini, who is a member of the outgoing Prime Minister’s Smer party, will hope to keep the current three-party coalition in power, to avoid early elections.
The coalition, which includes the Most-Hid party, which represents ethnic Hungarians and the ultra-nationalist Slovak Nationalist Party enjoys a majority in parliament.
Two prominent ministers, including Interior Minister Robert Kalinak, have resigned in connection with the affair in recent days.
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated last week to demand the resignation of the government and a full investigation to shed light on the assassination of Mr. Kuciak and his wife Martina Kusnirova. The Prime Minister’s resignation has not put an end to matters, however, as similar numbers are expected to take to the streets of more than a dozen Slovakian cities on Friday to demand early elections. Moreover many Slovaks fear Fico’s resignation will be on paper only and that by remaining on as chairman of the Smer party, he will continue to the strings in Slovakian politics.
Jan Kuciak, 27, was investigating important cases of tax evasion in Slovakia for the news site Aktuality.sk. According to Slovak police these investigations were “the most probable motive” for his assassination.
Jan Kuciak’s latest article for Aktuality, published on February 9, was about possible tax evasion linked to a luxury apartment complex in Bratislava, at the centre of a political scandal last year. He reported suspicious transactions by companies related to businessman Marian Kocner
An international team of journalists undertook to complete Kuciak’s final report.