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Slovak Minister Resigns Amid Protests Over Journalist’s Murder

Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak announcing his resignation on March 12.

Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak says he has decided to resign amid political tensions sparked by the murder of an investigative journalist.

Kalinak made the announcement on March 12, bowing to demands of a junior coalition partner, the Most-Hid (Bridge) group, which had demanded Prime Minister Robert Fico dump his close ally by the end of the day.

Fico’s government has been shaken by street demonstrators protesting the perceived lack of progress in an investigation into the death of Jan Kuciak and his fiancee in February, as well as allegations of persistent corruption.

Kuciak was investigating fraud cases involving politically connected businessmen and organized crime.

Critics say Kalinak, a founding member of Fico's Smer party, could not guarantee an independent probe into the killings.

On March 9, an estimated 50,000 people rallied in the capital, Bratislava, and thousands more in other Slovak cities to demand the resignation of Fico's cabinet and a full investigation into the deaths of Kuciak and his fiancee.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP