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April 16, 2018 6:35 pm | FILED UNDER: europe

Slovak Interior Minister To Resign Amid Scandal Of Journalists Murder

By ČTK Rally for Slain Slovak Journalist Jan Kuciak

Bratislava, April 16 (CTK) – New Slovak Interior Minister Tomas Drucker will tender his resignation since he does not consider it right to dismiss Police President Tibor Gaspar, which demonstrators demand, Drucker told journalists today.

 

Protesters call for changes after the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee in early March that has not been cleared up yet.

 

Drucker plans to give up his political career and withdraw from public life, the Pravda.sk server reported.

 

Politicians expressed surprise at his step. President Andrej Kiska said he would react to it on Tuesday.

 

The double murder stirred up a political crisis in the country, which resulted in the departure of PM Robert Fico and interior minister Robert Kalinak (both Smer-Social Democracy, Smer-SD) and a government reshuffle.

 

Kiska then appointed Peter Pellegrini, a deputy chairman of Smer-SD, as the prime minister, and his cabinet comprised of the previous coalition parties, the Smer-SD, Slovak National Party (SNS) and Most-Hid.

 

However, the political crisis did not end with this.

 

Dozens of thousands of Slovaks demonstrated in the streets on Sunday, demanding a government reform and the departures of Gaspar as well as special prosecutor Dusan Kovacik.

 

Kiska, who had long supported changes at the police helm, also called for Gaspar’s sacking.

 

Drucker said Gaspar had offered his departure to him, but that he did not consider his dismissal a right and just step.

 

However, this issue divides society since Gaspar is still connected with ex-minister Kalinak.

 

“I do not have the right to stay in the post of interior minister,” Drucker said, adding that he would like to attenuate the tension in society by his resignation.

 

“I feel completely free in this decision,” he added.

 

Gaspar claims he did not expect such a step for Brucker.

 

“The decisions by Interior Minister Tomas Drucker not to dismiss me from the post of the police chief, but at the same time to submit a resignation, which he announced at a press conference today, are surprising to me and unexpected. I will comment on the situation as soon as possible after considering all circumstances thoroughly,” Gaspar said in his press release.

 

Drucker occupied the post of health minister in Fico’s cabinet. The opposition press criticised him for suspicious property deals of his wife who decided to give up her business activities then, Drucker said.

 

He stepped down after three weeks in office.

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