Fico resigns. So why does the crisis continue?

These 10 answers will help you understand why the coalition’s decision to rebuild the government from scratch does not satisfy the critics and protesting masses.

Most-Híd chair Béla Bugár comes to the Government Office, March 13. Most-Híd chair Béla Bugár comes to the Government Office, March 13. (Source: TASR)

All through March 14, the political crisis triggered by the murder of investigative reporter Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová was still expected to end in early elections, as demanded by the junior coalition Most-Híd party. But the three coalition leaders, who were believed to be discussing the dates and other details of the early elections for two days, gave a game-changing statement in the evening: there will be no early elections and the coalition will put together a new government, without Fico at its helm.

1. Why did Fico give in and announce his resignation?

Fico had been resisting pressure to step down for over a week. His coalition partner, Most-Híd, originally demanded only the resignation of the interior minister (which he announced on March 12 but has not handed in as of the morning of March 15). But following the revelations in Ján Kuciak’s last story and the repeated “For a Decent Slovakia” gatherings that followed, some people in the party insisted that Fico would have to go, too. MP František Šebej and Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská have spoken publicly to that effect.

Finally, Fico announced on the evening of March 14, following two days of intensive talks with Most-Hid leaders and with the other coalition partner, Slovak National Party (SNS), that he was willing to resign “in order to solve the political crisis” and to prevent early elections that he believes would only lead to “chaos and instability”.

The whole ruling coalition seems to have adopted the stance that with early elections they would be running the risk of handing power to the opposition, whom Fico called “political big mouths”.

2. What does the resignation of the PM mean?

The resignation of the prime minister automatically means the resignation of the entire cabinet he is leaving. Normally the subsequent development would be new coalition talks and the re-composition of the government under a new prime minister, or early elections.

Early elections are not held automatically after the government resigns. The parliament would need to pass a constitutional law to shorten the current election term, which would set the date of the elections.

Regular elections are expected to be held in Slovakia in 2020. The current ruling coalition was put together exactly two years ago.

3. Why has Most-Híd given up on early elections?

Most-Híd’s decision-making body, the Republican Council, following eight hours of discussions on March 12, gave the party’s leader Bela Bugar a mandate to discuss early elections and leave the coalition if he fails to agree on early elections with the coalition partners. But Bugár now stresses the last sentence of the statement, which says that in the event of further development, the party leadership was authorised to make a different decision without having to ask the Republican Council first.

The demission of the prime minister qualifies as “further development”, Bugár explained. On March 12, Most-Híd discussed Fico’s resignation with the prime minister, but at that point Fico “categorically rejected this question”, Bugár said.

“It is not our problem that some people did not read that sentence properly,” Bugár told journalists on March 15.

Bugár’s explanations, however, change nothing about the fact that people who saw early elections as a solution now feel betrayed.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

arrested Pavol Ďurka of NAKA specialised team Purgatory heading to Bratislava' district court.

How an anti-team dismantled an elite police team with the help of the secret service

Hints of a possible coalition break-up over rule of law not materialising for now.

23 h
In this photo taken from video, Slovakia's President Zuzana Čaputová remotely addresses the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in a pre-recorded message, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 at U.N. headquarters.

President to the UN Assembly: Where scientists succeeded, politics is still failing

Zuzana Čaputová recalled the words Pope Francis addressed to Slovak youth during his recent visit to Slovakia.

6 h
Monika Tódová

Charges against Denník N journalists dropped

The decision came after the general prosecutor ordered the regional prosecutor to examine the legitimacy of the charges.

24 h

News digest: Prosecutor calls charges against journalists unlawful and unfounded

Editors-in-chief supported accused journalists before charges were dropped. Poll unveils how an ideal foreigner should look. No vote on changes to the Citizenship Act.

23 h
Skryť Close ad