Live Updates: Slovakia’s Leader in ‘Life-Threatening’ Condition After Shooting | News World

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Robert Fico, 59, has played a pivotal role in Slovakian politics in the years since it gained independence in 1993 and has served as prime minister longer than any other leader.

The country gained independence after the so-called Velvet Revolution, a series of popular and nonviolent protests in 1989 against the Communist Party in what was at that time still Czechoslovakia.

Mr. Fico, who had been a Communist Party member while it was in power, founded the Smer party in the late 1990s and began the first of his three terms as prime minister in 2006, serving for four years before going into opposition after his coalition lost an election. Slovakia is a landlocked country of around 5 million people.

The Smer party, which started out on the political left but has increasingly embraced right-wing views on immigration and cultural issues, has governed as part of a coalition. Much of the international focus on Mr. Fico’s leadership in recent years has focused on his ties to President Vladimir Putin of Russia and to Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, Slovakia’s southern neighbor.

Mr. Fico returned to power in 2012 but resigned as prime minister in July 2018 following mass…

Source www.nytimes.com

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