New wave of protests in Slovakia against Fico’s government

Protesters in 23 cities across Slovakia held large demonstrations against the government of Robert Fico on January 18, and their demands have expanded.

As Dennik N reported, the key demands of the protests now concern not only the plans to amend the criminal code and the controversial reform of the special prosecutor’s office but also the resignation of the pro-Russian Minister of Culture Martina Šimkovičová, as well as the mention of a minor accident involving the leader of the Slovak National Party, Andrej Danko, a coalition partner of Fico, who fled the scene.

This was the fifth round of protests, and the number of cities involved increased from 19 to 23.

In Bratislava, about 26,000 people joined in, more than the previous week; the rallies in other smaller cities also saw more people than before.

Opposition parties remain the main organizers, but civic organizations are also involved.

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, in a speech to the country’s parliament on January 18, called on lawmakers to reconsider plans to amend the criminal code and dissolve the special prosecutor’s office, which have raised EU concerns about the rule of law.

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