At Least Two Cities to Host Anti-corruption Marches on June 5

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Anti-corruption march in Bratislava on April 18

Bratislava, May 2 (TASR) – A march against corruption is set to take place in at least two Slovak cities on June 5, TASR learnt from its organisers on Tuesday.

The protests are being organised by secondary-school students David Straka and Karolina Farska along with Comenius University students Tomas Popovic and Robert Martin Hudec.

Straka said that they’ve decided to organise the upcoming march, because their demands – the dismissals of Interior Minister Robert Kalinak, Police Corps President Tibor Gaspar and Special Prosecutor Dusan Kovacik – haven’t been met in the wake of the first protest in Bratislava on April 18.

In addition, the students lament the fact that Kalinak, Gaspar or Kovacik haven’t even initiated any communication with them. “Our concerns about the Government being arrogant towards citizens and disregarding their demands have proven to be substantiated,” said Straka.

The students have also launched a petition that, if at least 100,000 signatures are collected, will be sent to the Parliament. The petition is, first and foremost, aimed at ensuring a successful no-confidence motion in Kalinak. A new interior minister should then remove Gaspar from office while new regulations enabling Kovacik’s dismissal should be enacted.

Several thousand people took to the streets in Bratislava on April 18 to express their dissatisfaction with what they see as a parade of corruption scandals that leaves the perpetrators unscathed.

Farska said that, in addition to Bratislava, the march in early June is also set to take place in eastern Slovakia, either in Presov or Kosice, as well as in at least one central Slovak city, including in Zilina.

“In the other regional capitals, signatures for the petition will be collected,” said Farska.

“Admittedly, our proposals provide no guarantee of change that we’re aiming for, but at present there’s not even a possibility for change, because the three people [Kalinak, Gaspar and Kovacik – ed. note] are suspected of standing in the way of proper investigations into scandals involving corruption,” said Popovic.

Prime Minister Robert Fico said last week that he continues to trust both Kalinak and Gaspar and that his Government is doing its best to address graft.