Reshuffled Slovak government wins confidence vote in parliament

By Tatiana Jancarikova
FILE PHOTO: New Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini gestures as he arrives at a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

By Tatiana Jancarikova

(Reuters) - A reshuffled Slovak government led by Peter Pellegrini won a parliamentary confidence vote on Monday, a month after the murder of an investigative journalist sparked mass protests and forced long-serving leader Robert Fico to resign.

The new government won 81 votes in the 150-member parliament.

Fico, prime minister for 10 of the last 12 years, bowed out this month amid protests and calls for an early election, handing the three-party ruling coalition to Pellegrini, a long-time senior member of the ruling Smer party.

The new cabinet has adopted its predecessor's agenda, including plans to reach a balanced budget by 2020. It underwent six personnel changes but only added two people who have not previously held any government post.

Pellegrini has pledged to keep Slovakia on a pro-European and pro-NATO path.

Fico had sought to position Slovakia - a country of 5.4 million that is an European Union member since 2004 and part of the euro zone monetary club - as a pro-EU bastion in a eurosceptic region.

(Reporting by Tatiana Jancarikova; Editing by Mark Heinrich)