Mass protests demand new Police Chief, but Pellegrini refuses to budge
Already the 5th Decency for Slovakia mass protests were held in over 35 cities in Slovakia yesterday, with the key demand being a new Police Chief. Some 30-45,000 people took part in the largest protest in Bratislava, 10% of the total city population. In Košice, the protest was preceded by a farmers’ protest ride demanding an investigation into shenanigans in allocating farming subsidies.
President Andrej Kiska expects that the Police Chief Tibor Gašpar will be dismissed in several days. His replacement, thinks Kiska, will be a step towards Slovaks regaining trust in the rule of law.
PM Peter Pellegrini rejects the idea of dismissing Police Chief based on street protests. He maintains that Interior Minister Tomáš Drucker must be given the chance to get acquainted with the Police first and then consider whether to remove the Chief.
Drucker wants to first, in a week, submit a change in the way the Police Chief is appointed, and then, two months later, after parliament approves the change, consider removing Gašpar.