Bratislava Friday protest smaller but still full of criticism

Organisers of the already traditional Friday protest are different, too – as is the goal.

April 27 protest in BratislavaApril 27 protest in Bratislava (Source: TASR)

Around 4,000 people gathered on SNP Square in the centre of Bratislava on April 27 to demand an early election in the hope that it would end the rule of the currently main governing party Smer, which has been in power with a two-year hiatus since 2006.

People on the square shouted slogans such as Election, Enough of Smer and [its chairman Robert] Fico, To Prison, while others were holding anti-government banners, the Sme daily wrote on April 28.

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Unlike the previous Friday gatherings (organised by For a Decent Slovakia initiative), this one was organised by civic groups called I Am Angry, Now, For Slovakia, and In Trainers. Instead of changes in the cabinet and investigation, the protest was aimed at early elections and a completely new government.

Peititon for early election

During the rally, organisers collected signatures on a petition to initiate a referendum on an early general election. Overall, 80,000 people have signed the petition within a month, while at least 350,000 signatures are needed to organise a referendum for early election.

The organisers of April 27 meeting stress that they are outside any political party and distance themselves from the opposition politician Igor Matovič (head of OĽaNO), who is fighting for a snap election, too, according to Sme.

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At the gathering, letters from the parents of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Marina Kušnírová – both murdered in February – were read, criticising the slow progress in the investigation and lack of interest from the ruling Smer party. Also, the recent appointments of Denisa Saková for interior minister and Monika Jankovská for Justice Ministry state secretary were criticised, Sme wrote.

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