BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s president agreed with some misgivings Wednesday to appoint a new government to replace the one that resigned amid a political crisis triggered by the killings of a journalist and his fiancee.
President Andrej Kiska said Wednesday that he was still not fully satisfied with the lineup proposed by former Deputy Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, he nonetheless would appoint Pellegrini’s government on Thursday.
The new government “will have to fight to win public trust,” the president said.
Prime Minister Robert Fico’s three-party coalition stepped down last week last week following large street protests sparked by the slayings of reporter Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova.
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The two were shot dead in their home and the killings have shined a light on possible government corruption.
Kiska asked Pellegrini, Fico’s deputy, to form a new government, but rejected Pellegrini’s first proposal over the person picked to be interior minister, who had ties to former Interior Minister Robert Kalinak and therefore the corruption concerns.
Kiska said it was unlikely that a government could ensure an independent investigation into the slayings and suspicions about the activities of organized crime that Kuciak investigated.
Before he was slain, Kuciak was reporting on alleged Italian mafia ties to associates of Fico and corruption scandals linked to Fico’s leftist Smer-Social Democracy party. Kalinak is Fico’s close ally in the party.
Pellegrini replaced the interior minister candidate.
Organizers of recent rallies across the country announced more protests for Friday. They are demanding a thorough and independent investigation of the slayings and the creation of a “trustworthy government.”