Andrej Kiska has beaten Prime Minister Robert Fico in the presidential elections, making him the first truly independent president in the country’s modern-day history to be elected to office, providing hope that the country might finally be freeing itself from political groups and their hidden sponsors.
The result shows Kiska, aged 51, gained 59.38% of the vote, with a turnout of 50.48% in line with forecasts. In his victory speech, Kiska declared that the people of Slovakia had shown that they are sick of the situation in the country and that he would return faith to the presidential office. Fico received the support of 40.61% of the voters.
Although the president has limited powers, the vote shows that the younger generation in particular have started taking their future into their own hands. Once he takes up office, Kiska will be able to veto and review laws, for instance, which could stop many questionable legislative changes being implemented that would otherwise be pushed through, as it prevents Robert Fico and his SMER-SD party from holding every key post in the country.
Despite all the dirt that Fico tried to throw at Kiska in the election campaign, Kiska’s character, past and motive shone through. Kiska set up the Dobry Anjel charity in Slovakia and also in the Czech Republic, for instance, which helps families with sick children in financial difficulties etc. Kiska not only set up the charity, but worked in the charity personally, pulling money out of his own pocket to get it off the ground.
Slovakia can therefore look forward to a brighter future, with the fate of current PM Robert Fico now in the balance. Many analysts feel that his Smer-SD party will now splinter, while Fico himself declared that he would end his political career should he lose the election. Only time will tell if he will stick to that statement.