Thousands of people have gathered in Slovakia to condemn the government’s plan to close prosecutor’s offices

Adriana Lima
By Adriana Lima 4 Min Read
origin 1People take part in the protest in opposition to the demolition of the Special Prosecutor’s Office organized by Slovak opposition events in entrance of the Government Office in Bratislava ©Lukas Grinaj/TASR through AP

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Slovakia, demonstrating in Bratislava and different main cities to denounce Prime Minister Robert Fico’s new populist government’s plan to change the nation’s penal code.

Protesters marched on Tuesday in opposition to adjustments proposed by the ruling coalition, together with a proposal to abolish the particular prosecutor’s workplace, which offers with critical crimes corresponding to corruption, organized crime and extremism.

The adjustments will take impact by mid-January. Such prosecutions will likely be returned to regional offices, which have not handled such crimes for 20 years.

A vocal however peaceable crowd in Bratislava gathered exterior the authorities workplace in an indication organized by a number of opposition events, together with Progressive Slovakia, Christian Democrats and Freedom and Solidarity.

“We will defend our democracy,” stated Michal Simecka, head of the Progressive Liberal Party of Slovakia, the strongest opposition celebration. He outlined the proposals as “a pro-mafia package deal”.

“We’ve had enough of Fico,” people sang.

Smaller demonstrations happened in the cities of Kosice, Nitra, Zilina, Banska Bystrica and Poprad.

Richard Sulik, the head of the pro-business Freedom and Solidarity celebration, stated round 1,000 unsolved circumstances had been at present being investigated by particular prosecutors.

origin 1Robert Fico has been prime minister since the finish of OctoberVLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP through Getty Images

“The proposed changes have potential [sic] to disrupt our legal system,” Sulik defined.

President Zuzana Caputova stated on Friday that in her opinion the adjustments go in opposition to the rule of legislation. She famous that the European Commission additionally expressed concern that the measure was being rushed via.

The laws was accepted by the Fico authorities on Wednesday, however now requires parliamentary and presidential approval. The three-party coalition at present has a majority in parliament.

Fico returned to energy for the fourth time after his scandal-stained left-wing celebration gained Slovakia’s September 30 parliamentary elections on a pro-Russian, anti-American platform.

His critics worry his return could lead on Slovakia to abandon its pro-Western course and as an alternative observe the lead of Hungary underneath Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Since Fico’s authorities got here to energy, some elite investigators and police officers coping with high-level corruption circumstances have been fired or fired. The adjustments envisaged in the authorized system additionally embody the discount of penalties for corruption.

Under the earlier authorities, which got here to energy in 2020 after waging an anti-corruption marketing campaign, dozens of senior officers, law enforcement officials, judges, prosecutors, politicians and businessmen linked to Fico’s celebration had been accused and convicted of corruption and different crimes.

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