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Slovakian Prime Minister Fico offers resignation

AFP  |  Bratislava 

Slovakia's has offered to resign, under pressure from the opposition for his handling of a scandal over the killing of a investigating political corruption.

"Today I have offered my resignation to the of the republic" Andrej Kiska, said in a public address yesterday. "If the accepts it, I am ready to resign tomorrow."

Fico, 53, has been struggling since February with a scandal over the killing of and his fiancee.

The killing had sparked protests against Fico's government, with tens of thousands of Slovaks turning out for rallies.

The prime minister's three-party coalition government was facing a no-confidence vote by lawmakers scheduled for next Monday.

had already resigned two days ago in a bid to save the government from collapsing.

But a minor member of Slovakia's three-way governing coalition, the Most-Hid party, raised the pressure further, calling for early elections.

Kiska had also called for early elections -- or sweeping government changes -- earlier this month.

has resisted the call for snap polls. He warned the country could "plunge into chaos if the current opposition takes power".

Slovakian daily Sme reported that Fico's may field deputy Peter Pellegrini, 42, as a candidate to succeed

Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova, both 27, were found shot dead on February 25 at their home near the capital

Police said Kuciak's death was "most likely" related to his investigation on ties between Slovakia's top politicians and Italy's 'Ndrangheta mafia.

The murder and Kuciak's article, published after his death, sparked a wave of anti-government sentiment in Slovakia, an EU and NATO member of 5.4 million people.

Fico's was alleged to have links to one of the Italians named in Kuciak's story.

The EU urged to swiftly investigate the murder.

"The top priority for all of us must be to carry out an independent and thorough investigation of the facts and bring those responsible to justice," the EU's told MEPs in today.

"We call upon the Slovak authorities to do this quickly."

The killing of Kuciak and Kusnirova raised fresh concern about and corruption both in and

It followed the assassination in October of investigative who had denounced corruption in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 15 2018. 03:20 IST