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Slovakia to Soften European Parliament Election Campaign Following Assassination Attempt on PM Fico

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Photo: Slovakia to Soften European Parliament Election Campaign Following Assassination Attempt on PM Fico. Source: fb-zcaputova
Photo: Slovakia to Soften European Parliament Election Campaign Following Assassination Attempt on PM Fico. Source: fb-zcaputova

In Slovakia, political parties have agreed to support the call by the incumbent and newly elected president to ease the European Parliament election campaign to reduce tensions in society, following the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico, Aktuality reports.

At a joint press conference with incumbent President Zuzana Chaputova on Thursday, President-elect Peter Pellegrini called on political forces to tone down the campaign, as election campaigns naturally use confrontation, criticism and mutual accusations, but after the assassination attempt on the prime minister, this is "the last thing Slovakia needs right now."

Fico Smer's party said it had decided to suspend its campaign for the European elections immediately after the assassination attempt. "The reason is not that we fear for our safety. We cannot go to the debates with a smile after our leader was shot," said Monica Benova, one of the party's key candidates. 

Pellegrini's Voice party has also announced that it will join. Interior Minister Matusz Szutai Estok said that even before that, they had been campaigning "in a limited way" due to threats against their candidate Branislav Becik, the mayor of Nitra. 

The leader of the opposition Progressive Slovakia, Michal Šimečka, also announced the restrictions on the campaign. 

Following this, the representative of the opposition SaS, Vladimíra Marcinkova, said she was suspending her participation in the events for the next week. She noted that she believes such decisions are necessary not only to reduce polarisation, but also for security reasons, as many politicians have received threats after the assassination attempt on Fico. 

The Slovak National Party is still deciding what to do with the election campaign.

As a reminder, on Wednesday, 71-year-old poet Juraj Cintula shot several times at Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. The assassination attempt took place after a government meeting in the city of Handlova. 

The assassination attempt was condemned by Slovak politicians and world leaders, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In turn, the current President of Slovakia, Zuzana Chaputova, and the President-elect, Peter Pellegrini, who has not yet taken office, jointly addressed the citizens and called on everyone to exercise restraint and understanding.

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