European Interest

Slovakia gets another interior minister, again

Flickr/EU2016 SK
Denisa Sakova is the third person appointed Slovakia’s interior minister since February.

Meet Denisa Sakova. She is the third person appointed Slovakia’s interior minister since February. She was a deputy to Robert Kalinak, who resigned as interior minister in March. And his successor, Tomas Drucker, left office earlier this month after he failed to restore public order.

Slovakia’s president Andrej Kiska and anti-government protesters have criticised the appointment amid demands for investigations into corruption and the murder of a reporter Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend Martina Kusnirova.

As reported by the Irish Times, Slovakia has plunged deep into political crisis. The double murder shocked the country and triggered major street protests calling for independent inquiries into the killings and the links that Kuciak uncovered between alleged mafia figures and members of the ruling Smer party.

As for Sakova, critics say she is too close to leaders of Smer, which has run Slovakia for 10 of the last 12 years, and in particular Kalinak and other current or former interior ministry officials, where she has worked for many years.

“After a number of unexplained allegations of links between the mafia and top politicians, I think it’s unacceptable to ignore public calls for reforms of the interior ministry and police, including fundamental and convincing personnel changes,” Kiska wrote on Facebook.

“The ruling majority still hasn’t understood what really happened in Slovakia after the murder of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova,” he added.

“It hasn’t understood that people’s already meagre trust in the willingness and ability of our state to ensure security and justice has totally crumbled… People are waiting for a clear signal of its readiness to change its style of governance. I do not consider this nomination for interior minister to be such a signal.”

In a separate report, the Reuters news agency also noted that the new interior minister will appoint a police chief to replace Tibor Gaspar, who will step down next month in the face of public pressure.

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