Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico 'ready to resign'

Slovak deputy Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini talks to the journalists after the meeting with President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava Slovakia

Slovak President Appoints Pellegrini New Prime Minister REUTERS David W. Cerny

The crisis was prompted by the deaths of Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova.

Robert Fico said he would quit today but set out several conditions, including the right to nominate a successor from his party.

Mr Fico, 53, and his coalition partners had talks with the president to solve the crisis.

Mr Fico says he is ready to resign if the next prime minister is from his leftist Smer-Social Democracy party and presents his or her name on Thursday.

Robert Fico's surprise move was meant to keep the current three-party coalition in power and prevent possible early elections. Their murders sent shockwaves across the country and the EU.

Protesters holds placards bearing faceted portraits of Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Foco and Foreign Minister Robert Kalinak during a rally under the slogan For a Decent Slovakia against corruption and to pay tribute to murdered Slovak journalist Jan
AFP 2018 JOE KLAMARSlovak Interior Minister Steps Down After Journalist's Murder

The assassination provoked mass protests with an estimated 50,000 people rallying in Bratislava and thousands more in other cities demanding a thorough investigation into the journalist's murder and the resignation of the government.

Fico's close aide Maria Troskova was alleged to have links to one of the Italians named in Kuciak's story.

Kuciak's murder has pushed growing frustration to a fever-pitch, with protesters saying the government can't be trusted to properly investigate the crime.

Slovak President Andrej Kiska, considered a political rival of the prime minister, said the country is facing a crisis of trust. Instead, demonstrators have called for a "new trustworthy government". Martin Slosiarik of the Focus polling agency told Reuters news agency.

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