Andrej Kiska elected fourth President of the Slovak Republic

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An independent candidate Andrej Kiska won Slovakia's presidential election with 59.38 percent of the vote, official results published Sunday by the Statistics Office say.

Andrej Kiska (middle) voting together with his father and daughter
Image: Kiska's campaign staff.

His rival, incumbent Prime Minister and the official candidate of ruling Smer-SD (Direction – Social Democracy) party Robert Fico received 40.61 percent of the vote. Voter turnout was 50.48 percent. 51-year-old self-made businessman Andrej Kiska is the first Slovak president without previous experience in politics, and the first who has never belonged to the Communist Party, since Slovakia became an independent country in 1993. Kiska is to be inaugurated as the fourth President on June 15, and be president for the next five years.

In a press conference late Saturday, Kiska thanked his voters and supporters, before vowing: "As the president I will stand up for the people, for every decent person of our country. And I promise I will try to humanize our politics, to re-establish trust and decency, because people are frustrated of disputes. As the president I will do everything to make our politics more human." ((sk))Slovak language: ‍Ako prezident budem stáť za nimi, budem stáť za ľuďmi, za každým slušným človekom našej krajiny. A sľubujem, sľubujem, že to, čo tak veľmi potrebujeme sa pokúsim naplniť. Pokúsim sa poľudštiť našu politiku. Pokúsim sa vrátiť naspäť dôveru, slušné slovo, pretože ľudia sú už znechutení z hádok a zo všetkého. Ako prezident spravím všetko preto, aby sa stala naša politika, na Slovensku, ľudskejšia.

Millionaire Kiska made his fortune in the financial industry. In 2006 he co-founded charitable foundation Good Angel, working with cancer victims. Most of his money has been given to charity, and he has sold off his businesses.

He announced his presidential candidature for this election before anyone else, about two years ago. Kiska said he chose to stand after witnessing impediments to his business and charitable work. He focused on his independence from other politicians and financial expertise.

Fico's party controls most of Slovakia's power institutions. A bitter election campaign saw Fico wage a smear campaign against Kiska, who has filed criminal allegations against Fico. Incumbent President Ivan Gasparovic's term ends June 15, with Kiska taking the reigns at a swearing-in the same day.

Despite remaining out of recession, Slovakia suffers high unemployment which coupled with recent corruption allegations has shaken electorate faith in Fico and mainstream politics generally. Kiska promised to tackle corruption. His run-off election bid against Fico was widely supported by mainstream parties and defeated candidates from the previous round of elections.


Candidate Votes % Electoral districts led
Andrej Kiska (Independent) 1,307,065 59.38% 36
Robert Fico (Direction – Social Democracy) 893,841 40.61% 13