STORY: Following an assassination attempt earlier in the week, Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico remains in serious condition but has stabilized.

That's according to officials on Saturday (May 18).

Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak.

"The yesterday's surgery was successful. This is the why reason his condition is still stable. This is very important for us. No other predictions."

The 59-year-old prime minister was shot at five times at point-blank range on Wednesday in an attack that sent shockwaves through Europe.

On Friday, he underwent a two-hour operation that improved prospects for his recovery.

However, he still faces a "big risk" of complications, Kalinak said.

:: May 15, 2024

The suspect, identified as Juraj C., acted alone and was detained on the spot, according to the Interior Minister.

He was charged with attempted murder and will remain in custody pending an investigation, the Slovak Specialized Criminal Court ruled on Saturday.

The decision is subject to appeal.

While some communication with the premier is taking place, Kalinak said there was no need to formally take over Fico's official duties.

About 100 Fico supporters gathered on Saturday outside the hospital where the premier is being treated.

Since returning for a fourth time as prime minister last October, Fico has shifted policy quickly in what opposition critics called a power grab.

His government has scaled back support for Ukraine in its war with Russia, and is revamping the public broadcaster amid concern from critics about media freedom.