UPDATED: MAR 17, 2018

Enough of Smer, people chanted in streets

Government resignation is not enough, the crowd called for early elections. This is how it looked like in Bratislava on March 16.

Despite the resignation of Prime Minister Robert Fico and his third government, Slovaks are still dissatisfied with the current political situation in the country and the crisis that emerged after investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová were murdered in their house in Veľká Mača (Trnava Region).

Approximately 65,000 people attended the second protest titled “For a Decent Slovakia” in Bratislava, which was much more than last week. On March 9, more than 100,000 people protested in towns and cities in Slovakia and abroad. Apart from thorough and independent investigation of the double murder, with the participation of international investigators, the organisers called for early elections.

“The arrogance of a few powerful people will not defeat us, we will do it together,” said Karolína Farská, one of the organisers.

The organisers called on the coalition politicians to not give their support to the new government of Peter Pellegrini in parliament.

“Four fair and decent coalition MPs are enough,” said one of the organisers, Peter Nagy, calling on people to send a letter with this call to the deputies.

Politics concerns us all

People coming to the streets of Bratislava shouted several slogans during the gathering, like “Enough of Smer” and “Early elections”.

“The revolution started by the parents has to be finished by their children,” said former politician and ex-presidential candidate, František Mikloško.

As he stressed, only twice have crowds managed to make the government resign: in November 1989 and now. When somebody tries to abuse their power in the future, they should remember March 2018 and the mass protests, he added.

Mikloško’s speech was accompanied by the ringing of keys, reminiscent of the Velvet Revolution in 1989.

Former diplomat Ondrej Gažovič publicly described how chief state advisor Mária Trošková appeared in the meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Fico has turned diplomacy into a travel agency,” he said, adding it was an arrogance of power.

He is convinced that Slovakia has the potential to be a country from which young people do not escape and where old ones can have a nice life. Gažovič also called on people to be active and speak when they see any wrongdoing.

“Politics concerns all of us,” said director Viliam Csino. “Who falls asleep in democracy, wakes up in totality.”

He called on people to be interested in public affairs and enter politics.

The safety of the participants was supervised by the police officers. No serious incident occurred.

The gatherings also took place in more than 30 towns and cities in Slovakia and more than 20 places abroad (see the list here).

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