Slovak Interior Minister Resigns

Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak resigned on March 12 as the fall out from the murders of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova – found dead on February 25 – continued to make politics the country increasingly toxic.

“I want stability in Slovakia to be maintained and resign,” Mr Kalinak told reporters at a press conference. Regarded as a key ally of the prime minister, Robert Fico, Mr Kalinak’s resignation has been viewed as a means of protecting the embattled prime minister. Most-Hid, a junior party in the ruling coalition, had demanded that Mr Kalinak  – who was also deputy prime minister – resign as a condition of remaining in government.

On March 9 Slovakia’s towns and cities witnessed their biggest public demonstrations since the fall of communism in 1989, when more than 60,000 poured onto the streets. Many demaned the resignation of both Mr Fico and Mr Kalinak, who they claimed had not done enough to investigate the murders.

Some Italians with alleged mafia links were arrested in the days following the murder, but were quickly released. No further arrests have since been made.