Not in a life-threatening condition

Slovakia's populist Prime Minister Robert Fico is in a stable but “very serious” condition after undergoing surgery following an assassination attempt, a health official said on Thursday.

“His condition has stabilized, but it is really very serious and that is why he will actually be in the intensive care unit on the premises of the general hospital, where he will be cared for by the team and all the medical team that he needs,” said Miriam Lapunikova, director of the FD Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica, where Fico is being treated, in accordance with a Reuters video on Thursday.

She added that Fico underwent a five-hour operation carried out by two teams of doctors. He suffered “multiple gunshot wounds, the consequences of which will impact his recovery,” she said.

Slovakian Deputy Prime Minister Tomas Taraba had also indicated that Fico was now not in a life-threatening condition.

“Fortunately, from what I understand, the operation went well and I expect he will survive in the end.” Taraba told BBC Newshour. “At this point the status of the operation should be that he is not in a life-threatening situation.”

CNBC has reached out to the Slovakian Ministry of Interior and Foreign Affairs.

Suspect charged

Fico, 59, was seriously injured on Wednesday after being shot multiple times following a political event within the Slovakian town of Handlova. He was transported by helicopter to a close-by hospital in Banska Bystrica for emergency treatment. in accordance with his official Facebook page.

A suspect within the attack, who acted alone and had previously taken part in anti-government protests, has been charged, Reuters quoted Slovak Interior Minister Matúš Šutaj Eštok as saying on Thursday. He added that the person cited government policies regarding law enforcement and the media as reasons for the attack.

The minister had previously described the shooting as a “politically motivated attempt”. translated video footage from Sky News.

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova reported that police arrested a suspect connected to the incident on Wednesday in a social media update.

Fico was Prime Minister of Slovakia for around ten years in three mandates and led the Smer (Direction) party. He most recently took office after the 2023 parliamentary elections and promised in October to finish military support for Ukraine and now not support further sanctions against Russia. Reuters reported.

His government has also proposed a controversial overhaul and state takeover of public broadcaster RTVS, in addition to a highly controversial change to the country's criminal code that might, amongst other things, abolish the special prosecutor's office overseeing serious crimes.

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