Published: 14:52, May 17, 2024
Slovak president-elect visits wounded PM Fico, calls coalition govt 'solid'
By Xinhua
Peter Pellegrini, Slovak president-elect, speaks to media at the F. D. Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, on May 16, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

BANSKA BYSTRICA, Slovakia - Slovak's three-party coalition government is solid, Peter Pellegrini, Slovak president-elect, said Thursday after visiting wounded Prime Minister Robert Fico.

One of the deputy prime ministers might temporarily take over the duties of Fico, who was shot Wednesday and is still in critical condition after a surgery at the F. D. Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica.

Pellegrini paid a short visit to Fico Thursday afternoon, saying that he "spoke with Fico for a few minutes " and the prime minister was "really really tired and in a really difficult situation at this moment".

There will be "difficult hours and days" in front of Fico and "I told him we stand behind him," said Peter Pellegrini, Slovak president-elect

There will be "difficult hours and days" in front of Fico and "I told him we stand behind him," Pellegrini said.

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Meanwhile, he called upon the Slovak people not to fight one another due to political differences.

He also expressed thanks for the supportive messages the country had received worldwide after the incident.

Peter Pellegrini, Slovak president-elect, speaks to media at the F. D. Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, on May 16, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Fico sustained four gunshot wounds in an attack Wednesday when he greeted supporters after chairing a government meeting in the central Slovak town of Handlova.

The attacker, who is reported to be a 71-year-old man, was detained on the spot. He has been charged with attempted premeditated murder, Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok said Thursday, adding that the shooter is a lone wolf.

READ MORE: 3 Slovak parties agree to form coalition government

Pellegrini is scheduled to take office as Slovak president next month when the tenure of the current president Zuzana Caputova expires.