Slovak PM Fico expected to survive assassination bid

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Sumana | Date 16-05-2024
Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico
Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico



Slovakian Deputy Prime Minister Tomas Taraba provided reassurance amidst the chaos following an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico, CNN reported.

"Fortunately, as far as I know, the operation went well and I guess in the end he will survive," Taraba stated in an interview with the BBC's Newshour program, as quoted by CNN.

Taraba described the severity of the injuries sustained by the Prime Minister, indicating that one bullet had entered his stomach while another hit his joints. He recounted the immediate response to the attack, highlighting the swift transportation of Fico to the hospital and subsequent surgery.

The assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico has sent shockwaves throughout Slovakia.

The incident occurred following an off-site government meeting in the central Slovak town of Handlova.

The suspected gunman, among a small crowd awaiting the Prime Minister outside the cultural centre where the meeting took place, reportedly targeted Fico. Footage from the scene captured the Prime Minister being rushed into a vehicle by his staff before being taken to a local hospital and later transferred to a major trauma centre in Banska Bystrica. Fortunately, no other injuries were reported in the attack.

Defence Minister Robert Kalinak and Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok condemned the shooting as "politically motivated." Sutaj Estok revealed that the suspect's decision to carry out the attack occurred shortly after the presidential election. Despite the severity of the situation, Deputy Prime Minister Taraba expressed optimism about Fico's recovery, emphasizing that the surgery was successful and the Prime Minister's condition was not life-threatening, as reported by CNN.

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova confirmed the detainment of the suspected gunman by police, urging the public to await further information from law enforcement agencies. Caputova condemned the attack as a "brutal and reckless" assault on democracy. She underscored the significance of the incident as an attack not only on an individual but on the democratic principles of the nation.

Amidst rising tensions, Defence Minister Kalinak emphasized the need for unity and introspection. He denounced hate speech and division as contributing factors to the political atmosphere that led to the assassination attempt. Interior Minister Sutaj-Estok echoed Kalinak's sentiments, calling for calm and urging against any calls for revenge. He urged the media to use its influence responsibly to quell tensions and promote unity.

The attack on Prime Minister Fico comes at a time of deep political polarisation in Slovakia. Fico's return to power last year sparked widespread division, with supporters viewing him as a caring leader while critics perceive him as a populist with concerning pro-

Russian leanings. The government's controversial domestic reforms have further fueled public dissent, leading to weeks of peaceful protests, according to CNN.

The shocking assassination attempt has drawn condemnation from world leaders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the attack as a "monstrous crime" and wished Fico a speedy recovery.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen denounced the violence, emphasizing its detrimental impact on democracy. Hungarian

Prime Minister Viktor Orban expressed shock and solidarity with Fico, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered support to the people of Slovakia in the wake of the assault.

US President Joe Biden expressed alarm at the attempted assassination, describing it as a "horrific act of violence." He extended his thoughts and prayers to Fico's family and the people of Slovakia.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined in condemning the attack, highlighting the need to uphold democratic values in the face of such violence, CNN reported.