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Slovakia’s PM Robert Fico injured in shooting, in life-threatening condition



Slovakia's PM Robert Fico injured in shooting, in life-threatening condition

An individual is detained after the capturing incident of Slovak PM Robert Fico, after a Slovak authorities assembly in Handlova, Slovakia, on Might 15, 2024.
| Picture Credit score: Reuters

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is in life-threatening situation after being wounded in a capturing after a political occasion Might 15 afternoon, in accordance with his Fb profile.

The populist, pro-Russian chief, 59, was hit within the abdomen after 4 pictures had been fired outdoors the Home of Tradition within the city of Handlova, some 150 km northeast of the capital the place the chief was assembly with supporters, in accordance with experiences on TA3, a Slovak TV station. A suspect has been detained, the nation’s president mentioned in a televised assertion.

A message posted to Fico’s Fb account mentioned that the chief “has been shot a number of occasions and is at the moment in life-threatening situation.” It mentioned he was being transported by helicopter to the Banská Bystrica, 29 km away from Handlova as a result of it might take too lengthy to get to Bratislava because of the necessity of an acute process.

“The following few hours will resolve,” it mentioned.

Outgoing President Zuzana Caputova, a political rival of Mr. Fico, mentioned in a televised assertion: “A bodily assault on the Prime Minister is, initially, an assault on an individual, however it’s also an assault on democracy. Any violence is unacceptable. The hateful rhetoric we’ve been witnessing in society results in hateful actions. Please, let’s cease it.” President-elect Peter Pellegrini, an ally of Fico, referred to as the assassination “an unprecedented risk to Slovak democracy. If we specific different political views with pistols in squares, and never in polling stations, we’re jeopardizing all the pieces that now we have constructed collectively over 31 years of Slovak sovereignty.” There have been reactions of shock from throughout Europe, and a few had been calling it an tried assassination of the chief within the NATO state, though no motive for the capturing was instantly obvious.

NATO Secretary-Basic Jens Stoltenberg posted on X that he was “shocked and appalled by the capturing”. The capturing in Slovakia comes three weeks forward of essential European Parliament elections, during which populist and hard-right events within the 27-nation bloc seem poised to make positive factors.

Deputy Speaker of parliament Lubos Blaha confirmed the incident throughout a session of Slovakia’s Parliament and adjourned it till additional discover, the Slovak TASR information company mentioned.

Slovakia’s main opposition events, Progressive Slovakia and Freedom and Solidarity, cancelled a deliberate protest in opposition to a controversial authorities plan to overtake public broadcasting that they are saying would give the federal government full management of public radio and tv.

“We completely and strongly condemn violence and at this time’s capturing of Premier Robert Fico,” mentioned Progressive Slovakia chief Michal Simecka. “On the similar time we name on all politicians to chorus from any expressions and steps which may contribute to additional rising the stress.” President Zuzana Caputova condemned “a brutal and ruthless” assault on the premier.

“I’m shocked,” Ms. Caputova mentioned. “I want Robert Fico a whole lot of energy on this essential second and a fast restoration from this assault.” Mr. Fico, a third-time premier, and his leftist Smer, or Route, social gathering, received Slovakia’s Sept. 30 parliamentary elections, staging a political comeback after campaigning on a pro-Russian and anti-American message.

Critics anxious Slovakia beneath Mr. Fico would abandon the nation’s pro-Western course and observe the course of Hungary beneath populist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

1000’s have repeatedly rallied within the capital and throughout Slovakia to protest Mr. Fico’s insurance policies.

Condemnations of political violence shortly got here from leaders throughout Europe.

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen condemned what she described as a “vile assault.” “Such acts of violence don’t have any place in our society and undermine democracy, our most treasured frequent good,” von der Leyen mentioned in a submit on X.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala referred to as the incident “surprising,” including “I want the premier to get effectively quickly. We can not tolerate violence, there’s no place for it in society.” The Czech Republic and Slovakia shaped Czechoslovakia until 1992.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk wrote on the social media community X: “Surprising information from Slovakia. Robert, my ideas are with you on this very tough second.”

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