BRATISLAVA (Reuters) – Slovakia’s president said on Sunday he would seek talks with parties and would urge forming a new government or holding early elections to renew public trust following the murder of an investigative journalist that has shaken the nation.
Thousands of people marched in the capital Bratislava and other cities on Friday for journalist Jan Kuciak, who had been looking into suspected mafia links among Italian businessmen in eastern Slovakia before he was found shot dead last weekend.
One of the men named in Kuciak’s report, which was published posthumously and probed potential abuse of EU subsidies and other fraud, had past links to people who subsequently worked for Prime Minister Robert Fico’s office.
“I will start talks with political leaders on how they imagine the future… and how to renew the trust of people into their own state. I see two options for now,” President Andrej Kiska said in a televised address.
Kiska, who does not have any formal powers to trigger the fall of the three-party government, said the first option would be “an extensive and essential reconstruction of government that would not polarize society.”
The second would be an election timed with regional polls in the autumn, which would need backing by three fifths of lawmakers.
(Reporting by Tatiana Jancarikova; Writing by Jason Hovet; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)