More protests of Slovak reporter's death planned

People close to social democratic prime minister Robert Fico have alleged links to the Italian mafia

Critics argue Mr Kalinak, who oversees the police as interior minister, can not guarantee an independent investigation into the killing of Mr Kuciak and his fiancee. The Most-Hid group leaders are expected to meet on Monday to determine how to move forward amid growing anger in Slovakia.

Bugar's announcement means the government created after the 2016 general election could fall apart soon.

Last week, Slovak President Andrej Kiska, one of Fico's political rivals, said the country is facing a crisis of trust and the government must do more to restore confidence.

Interior Minister Robert Kalinak resigned Monday after tens of thousands of protesters across Slovakia demanded a thorough investigation into the shooting deaths of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova. They were the biggest protests in Slovakia since the 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution. Police said the deaths were "most likely" related to Kuciak's unfinished investigation linking senior Slovak politicians to the Italian mafia.

The junior nationalist coalition party SNS said on Monday that it could accept either early elections or a cabinet reshuffle.

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"I think to fulfill my mandate, I have to do everything to preserve stability in Slovakia", Kalinak told reporters in Bratislava.

"It's important for stability to be maintained, therefore I made a decision to resign the post of deputy prime minister and interior minister", Mr Kalinak said.

Ficos' Smer-Social Democracy party is allegedly also linked to other corruption scandals.

But organizers of the anti-government rallies said Monday that the interior minister stepping down "must be only a beginning" and announced more rallies for Friday to demand the government's resignation. Thousands demanded Kalinak's resignation previous year after he was tied to earlier corruption scandals.

Mr Fico's government has formed a special team to investigate the killings and has sought help from foreign police forces, while offering a €1 million reward for information leading to the murders being solved.

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