Slovakia may face early parliamentary elections

Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Robert Kalinak

A coalition partner had made Robert Kalinak's resignation a condition for continued support in government. They were the biggest protests in Slovakia since the 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Robert Fico opposes the early elections.

The Most-Hid party in Slovakia has threatened on Monday (12 March) to withdraw its support from the coalition government, if the country does not hold early elections.

After resisting calls to resign and riding out several previous scandals, interior minister Robert Kalinak resigned on Monday, depriving Mr Fico of one of his closest allies and a co-founder of their populist Smer party.

Critics had claimed Mr Kalinak could not ensure an impartial investigation into the murders, in his role as overseer of the police.

Bela Bugar, chairman of the Most-Hid party of mostly ethnic Hungarians, said that if its two governing partners don't agree to negotiate an early vote, his party is ready to leave the coalition.

"It's important for stability to be maintained", Mr Kalinak told reporters as he announced his resignation as both interior minister and deputy PM.

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Kalinak was a founder member of Fico's Smer party.

Kuciak's last, unfinished story was about the activities of the Italian mafia in Slovakia and alleged ties to people close to Prime Minister Robert Fico.

The death of Mr Kuciak, who probed fraud cases involving politically-connected businessmen, has stoked public anger over persistent corruption allegations and pushed Mr Fico's government towards collapse.

Critics argue Mr Kalinak, who oversees the police as interior minister, can not guarantee an independent investigation into the killing of Mr Kuciak and his fiancee.

The junior nationalist coalition party SNS said on Monday that it could accept either early elections or a cabinet reshuffle.

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