Businessman Kiska comfortably wins Slovak presidential election


30.03.2014 06:45

Bratislava - Philanthropist and businessman Andrej Kiska will be the new Slovak president as he comfortably won the direct election´s run-off on Saturday with 59.38 percent of the vote, Slovak Statistical Office (SU) has announced.


Prezidentský kandidát Andrej Kiska odevzdal 29. března svůj hlas v druhém kole prezidentských voleb v místě svého bydliště v Popradu. ČTK Supik Alexander

The rival candidate, Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-Social Democracy) gained 40.61 percent, recognised own defeat and congratulated Kiska on victory.

The election turnout was 50.46 percent of the country´s 4.4 million eligible voters, SU said on its website after counting all election votes.

The result is yet to be officially confirmed by the electoral commission.

Kiska, 51, an unaffiliated political newcomer, was supported by 1,307,065 voters, while 893,841 voters cast their ballots for Fico, 49.

Kiska thanked voters for support.

He will take up the presidential office in mid-June when the second and last possible five-year term of outgoing President Ivan Gasparovic expires.

"As president I´ll back people, every decent person in our country. I´ll try to make our politics human and renew people´s confidence in a decent word, as people are disgusted at squabbles [of politicians]," Kiska told journalists.

"I´ll fulfil what I promised. I´ve promised to be the president of all citizens, to unite people...I´ll back all decent people in our country," he said.

Euphoria in Kiska´s election team burst out after the first partial results of the vote were released, as from the beginning they indicated the success of Kiska.

Kiska said he is going to relax in the days to come.

He said his first foreign trip in his capacity as president will be to the neighbouring Czech Republic.

Sociologist Martin Slosarcik said Fico has failed to explain to voters why he was running for president. Moreover, most people want him to be prime minister rather than president, Slosarcik said.

According to political analyst Erik Lastic, Fico could react to his defeat by making personnel changes in his leftist one-party cabinet.

Fico said he will take a few days off to relax.

Parliament chairman Pavol Paska (Smer-SD) asserted still before the election results were known, that even if Fico lost the polls, the cabinet would continue working under his leadership.

Fico and the media previously said the presidential election would be a referendum on Fico´s Smer-SD, a party dominating the country´s political scene.

"It would be very bad if the situation repeated that we experienced in the 1990s," commentator Marian Lesko said on Markiza TV, warning against a tense relation between Kiska as president and Fico as prime minister, similar to the confrontations between their respective predecessors Michal Kovac and Vladimir Meciar in the 1990s.

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