Slovak Parliament votes to condemn political violence after assassination attempt on prime minister

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s Parliament voted unanimously on Tuesday to condemn politically motivated violence following an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico, who is recovering from multiple wounds from last week’s shooting, hospital officials said.

Fico “remains conscious and communicative” and “further actions are being taken to improve his health condition,” said the hospital treating him in the central city of Banská Bystrica.

The hospital says that Fico, 59, is no longer in life-threating condition after being shot in the abdomen as he greeted supporters last Wednesday in the town of Handlova, about 140 kilometers (85 miles) northeast of the capital, Bratislava.

Fico underwent five-hour surgery immediately after the shooting, followed by another two-hour operation last Friday.

Fico’s populist government has pursued policies that prompted thousands of people to take to the streets to protest, including efforts to overhaul public broadcasting, a move critics said would give the government full control of public television and radio. That, and plans to amend the penal code to eliminate a special anti-graft prosecutor, have led opponents to worry that Fico would lead Slovakia down a more autocratic path.

All 130 lawmakers present in Parliament on Tuesday voted to approve a resolution that calls on political parties, civic organizations and media to respect the results of parliamentary elections and refrain from spreading hatred against the democratically elected government.

A court in the town of Pezinok on Saturday ordered the suspect in the attack, who is charged with attempted murder, to remain behind bars.

Government officials originally said they believed it was a politically motivated attack committed by a “lone wolf,” but announced on Sunday that a “third party” might have been involved in “acting for the benefit of the perpetrator.”

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