Suspect charged in attempted assassination of Slovak PM Fico

A man has been charged with the attempted assassination of populist Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico after the politician was seriously hurt in a shooting attack yesterday. The alleged assailant has not been formally named, but reports have identified him as a 71-year-old from the town of Levice. Authorities say that the suspect, who acted alone, did not have any political affiliations but the attack was politically motivated. This incident shook the nation and showed the extreme polarization that gripped the small Central European country.

Robert Fico (59), was in a serious but stable condition a day after he was shot multiple times in the stomach, the hospital reported. Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok told a news conference on Thursday that the suspect had acted alone and that he had previously taken part in anti-government protests. “This is a lone wolf whose actions were accelerated after the presidential election since he was dissatisfied with its outcome,” he said.

Fico is a divisive figure in Slovakia who won elections last year when he ran with a pro-Russia, anti-America message. At the start of Russia’s invasion, Slovakia was one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters, but Fico halted arms deliveries to the neighbor when he came to power. Fico’s government has tried to overhaul public broadcasting and amend the penal code, which opponents believe would lead Slovakia down a more autocratic path.

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