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Slovakia’s ruling party calls for leader to quit

Robert Fico

Slovakia’s ruling party Smer has asked its leader Robert Fico (pictured above) to step down. The call follows the poor performance of the party in last week’s European parliamentary elections.

“We call on the party chairman Robert Fico and deputy chairman Robert Kalinak to show political culture and step down from their posts with dignity, without provoking conflicts within the party,” a letter published by party members reads.

Mr Fico stepped down as prime minister together with Mr Kalinak, who then served as interior minister, after the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová in February 2018.

Current prime minister Peter Pellegrini has suggested that he may quit his post.

“We have a decisive time ahead of us in Smer. It will determine who will be where and if anyone will be anywhere at all,” the prime minister said. “With parliamentary elections ahead of us, I will do my utmost for Smer to win, but it will require thorough reform. It is now up to the chairman of the party, Robert Fico, to decide how to proceed.”