Kiska said the crisis gripping Slovakia was caused by declining public trust in the state, following the shooting of 27-year-old Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova.

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico speaks during an interview in Bratislava, Slovakia on February 22, 2016.
Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico speaks during an interview in Bratislava, Slovakia on February 22, 2016. ( Reuters )

A political storm in Slovakia deepened on Monday, with Prime Minister Robert Fico accusing the country's president of destabilising the country in the wake of the slayings of an investigative journalist and his fiancee.

Amid growing protests against his government, Fico said in a televised statement "there's no doubt" that President Andrej Kiska had overstepped the mark when calling for changes to the government and for early elections to resolve the "serious political crisis" in the country following the shooting of 27-year-old Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova. Their bodies were found on February 25.

Kiska said on Sunday that the crisis gripping Slovakia was caused by declining public trust in the state.

In his last unfinished story, Kuciak reported on the influence of the Italian mafia in Slovakia and its possible ties to people close to Fico.

Fico also suggested that Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros might be somehow involved in the destabilisation that he accuses the president of pursuing.

He said Kiska and Soros met privately in New York City on September 20 last year and publicly asked Kiska to explain why he met Soros, what they discussed and why he didn't take any representatives of the Slovak Foreign Ministry to the meeting.

Kiska beat Fico to the presidency in a 2014 election.

Kiska responded through his office by saying that Fico was using conspiracy theories to distract attention away from the crisis.

Candles are seen above a placard of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico reading,
Candles are seen above a placard of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico reading, "Killer" during a march in honor of murdered Slovak investigative reporter Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend Martina Kusnirova in Bratislava, Slovakia on February 28, 2018. ( Reuters )

More protests expected

Meanwhile, Slovak protesters were planning to take to the streets again to demand a thorough investigation into the slayings as well as changes in government.

When tens of thousands of protesters marched on Friday to honor Kuciak, many called on the government to resign. More demonstrations – this time directly aimed at the government – are planned this week, including a rally in Bratislava scheduled for Friday.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the organisers called on foreign experts to join the local investigative team and for the creation of  "a new trustworthy government with no people who are suspected of corruption" or ties to organised crime.

The first anti-government rally was planned for Monday evening in the second-largest city of Kosice.

A junior party in the coalition government led by Fico is supporting calls by the opposition for Interior Minister Robert Kalinak to resign.

The leadership of the party known as Most-Hid will meet next week to discuss the coalition's future.

Kalinak is a key ally of Fico in their leftist Smer-Social Democracy party. Thousands rallied across Slovakia already last year to demand Kalinak's resignation due to a corruption scandal.

Source: AP