Another “Dictator” Survives Assassination Attempt
16 May 2024
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By Dipolimatic Correspondent- The Slovakia’s populist prime minister, Robert Fico, has survived an assasination attempt after on Wednesday afternoon injured in a shooting.

He was airlifted to a hospital, where his condition was said to be critical.

Fico (59) was shot in the stomach in front of a building in the central Slovak town of Handlova, where a government meeting had been held.

Handlova is around 180km north-east of the capital Bratislava.

He was greeting people in front of a cultural community centre in the central town of Handlova when several shots were fired from a crowd.

Local media reports say Fico was airlifted by helicopter to a nearby hospital before he was later flown to another hospital in Banska Bystrica, east of Handlova, as the transfer to the capital Bratislava would take too long.

President-elect and Fico ally Peter Pellegrini said he was “horrified” to hear that Fico was “the target of an assassination attempt”. He said:

I am horrified at where hatred for a different political opinion can lead. We don’t have to agree with everything, but there are many ways to express your disagreement democratically and legally.

The alleged assailant was detained by police, according to local media.

Fico returned to power after elections last year at the head of a populist-nationalist coalition, the Smer-SSD party.

He promised to halt military aid to Ukraine, criticised sanctions targeting Russia and campaigned against LGBTQ+ rights. 

He, however, denied being pro-Russian.

He is also notorious for enacting draconian laws that infringes on freedom of expression.

Fico was forced to step down as prime minister following the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak in 2018.