The president-elect pleads for unity as Robert Fico recovers from the shooting

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By Creative Media News

  • Slovakian PM Robert Fico stable but not yet recovered
  • Shooting highlights political tensions in Europe ahead of elections
  • Leaders urge unity after assassination attempt on Fico

According to officials, Slovakian prime minister Robert Fico is in a stable condition but is “not yet out of the woods.” The country’s president-elect pleaded for unity after a shooting exposed the country’s profound political divisions in recent months.

The shooting, which marked the first significant attempt at assassinating a political leader in Europe in over two decades, caused widespread concern throughout the continent. Leaders attributed the violence to a progressively tense and polarized political atmosphere in European nations preceding the June elections for the European Parliament.

“It is disconcerting to observe an individual succumb to his political beliefs. “That is extremely alarming three weeks before the elections,” said Alexander De Croo, the prime minister of Belgium, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency. Let us endeavor to lead a campaign that is intensely verbally charged, but not beyond that.

The Interior Minister of Slovakia, Matutaj Eštok, described the assault as politically motivated and identified the suspect as an individual who had engaged in anti-government demonstrations while acting independently. This individual has recently radicalized himself in the aftermath of the presidential election,” Eštok told reporters. “He is a lone wolf.”

The April election victory of Peter Pellegrini, an ally of Fico, escalated tensions in the country, where Fico has been implementing a divisive agenda since his October return for a third term as prime minister.

Robert Kaliák, the defense minister, stated that Fico’s condition was stable but that it was premature to declare a positive prognosis at this time. “He has not yet overcome his predicament,” declared Robert Kaliák. “At this time, I am unable to declare victory or a positive prognosis for our team.”

A minimum of five gunshots targeted Fico, 59, on Wednesday while he was attending a gathering of supporters in the town of Handlová, located approximately 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of the capital, Bratislava, following a government meeting. Local media have identified the perpetrator as Juraj Cintula, 71, who is in custody on charges of premeditated attempted murder.

Pellegrini stated that he had a brief discussion with Fico while he was hospitalized, but that the leader’s condition remained critical. “Because he is taking medication, he can only utter a few sentences at a time before becoming extremely exhausted,” he explained to the press. “We are unable to declare the prime minister entirely secure at this time.”

“Prime Minister Robert Fico narrowly escaped death.” We would have referred to him as the late prime minister had the distance between those gunshot wounds been a few millimeters.

Pellegrini implored for unity in a “divided Slovakia,” urging individuals to restrain their sentiments. He stated that regardless of one’s political or religious beliefs, everyone should recognize that “we crossed a red line” with the incident. I implore all citizens of Slovakia to abstain from all forms of violence; spare us the escalation of this conflict.

Pellegrini urged political parties earlier in the day to suspend or reduce their campaigning for the EU elections. The leader of the largest opposition party, the centrist Progressive Slovakia, Michal Imeoka, stated that his organization had completed the task.

European leaders representing diverse political ideologies have vehemently condemned the assassination attempt, characterizing it as an assault on democratic principles.

According to Polish prime minister Donald Tusk, he has received threats since the attack. Yesterday was quite eventful,” he wrote in a post on X accompanied by a screenshot of a remark that stated, “Today, the Slovaks demonstrated to us what ought to be done with Donald Tusk” if he chose to abstain from investing in a major airport in central Poland.

The Polish website reported that the state protection service would enhance Tusk’s protection.

A political ally of Fico, the prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, stated that he was “fighting for peace alone” in the European Union at this time. Orbán, similar to Fico, espouses the cause of peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. He likened the European elections scheduled for next month to a referendum on this matter. Polls predict that hard-right and populist parties will gain ground in the 27-nation bloc.

Reports state that Cintula, the suspect, previously worked as a security officer at a shopping center. Additionally, he has published three poetry books and expressed his intention to establish a political movement on YouTube.

On Thursday, a number of law enforcement officers stood at the entrance of the modest gray apartment complex where Cintula had lived for the previous 40 years.

According to, the suspect’s son stated that his father owned a valid firearm license.

An undated Facebook video purportedly captured a man saying to the attacker, “I do not agree with government policy.” This identification was confirmed by Reuters.

After the gunshot, they took Fico to a hospital in Banská Bystrica.

The superintendent of the hospital, Miriam Lapunikova, announced on Thursday morning that the prime minister had undergone five hours of surgery with the assistance of two teams in order to treat multiple gunshot wounds.

Lapunikova stated, “His condition is currently stabilized but is truly life-threatening; he will be admitted to the intensive care unit.”

On Thursday, during their commutes to work, many Slovaks were still adjusting to the news. A merchant in Bratislava, Mária Szabó, exclaimed, “I am at a loss for words. This is not what ought to have occurred in the twenty-first century, regardless of one’s political leanings. Our nation is progressing on an unfavorable trajectory.”

Experienced populist politician Fico reclaimed power in the previous year’s elections by campaigning against LGBTQ+ rights, promising not to fire “another bullet” at Ukraine, and criticizing sanctions against Russia.

Thousands of individuals have taken to the streets throughout the nation in protest of measures that, according to critics, threaten to compromise press freedom and the elimination of a special prosecutor position tasked with major crimes and corruption during the initial months of his return.

In recent months, Fico has harshly criticized the mainstream media in Slovakia and refused to communicate with certain outlets, while members of his party have criticized opposition and media actions.

In an effort to “calm” the political tensions that have escalated since the murder, the outgoing president, Zuzana Aputová, announced that she would co-host a meeting with all leaders of parliamentary parties.

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Let us exit the vicious cycle of mutual accusations and animosity,” she stated at a news conference in Bratislava. “The event that transpired yesterday was the result of an individual’s action; however, the atmosphere of animosity and tension was the result of our combined efforts.”

She issued the statement in conjunction with Pellegrini, her political opponent, with the intention of mitigating the recent political tensions.

Political journalist Gábor Czĭmer of the Slovakian news outlet told the Associated Press that Fico’s re-election revealed “a clear division within Slovakian society into two distinct factions”—one that advocated for closer ties with Russia and the other that advocated for stronger alliances with the European Union and Western nations.

“However, I found it inconceivable that it could result in physical violence,” Czmer stated.

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