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Gov't To Close Special Prosecutor's Office, Opposition Cries Foul


The gov't of PM Robert Fico has introduced legislation that intends to shut down the Special Prosecutor's Office, a move that the opposition claims is an attack on Slovakia's democratic institutions and rule-of-law standards. President Zuzana Caputova, whose term expires in 2024 and will not run for a second term, has called the move a "step backwards", while the EU is likely to take particular interest given the financial penalties applied to Hungary and Poland in recent years for rule-of-law violations.

  • Fico claimed following a gov't meeting that, “The Special Prosecutor’s Office can’t be fixed — it is an office that significantly contributed to the violation of human rights,”
  • Reuters: "[The office] has handled dozens of cases involving graft in police, judiciary and politics since 2021 while under the leadership of Daniel Lipsic, who served as interior minister in a government that took power from Fico between 2010 and 2012 - a connection that has irked Fico."
  • Fico, head of the populist left-wing Smer-SD, returned to power earlier in the year alongside the centre-left Hlas-SD of former PM Peter Pellegrini and the right-wing nationalist SNS. After governing as a broadly pro-EU social democrat during his previous terms in office, Fico's stance has materially altered during his time in opposition.
  • One of his first acts on taking office was halting the provision of arms to Kyiv, and his rhetoric on matters from rule of law, to the war in Ukraine, to EU-Slovakia relations sounds similar to that of Hungarian PM Viktor Orban.

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