Slovakia: can ex-president Kiska be content with his legacy?
Andrej Kiska, Slovak President from 2014 to 2019, has announced that he is leaving politics at the age of 57 for health reasons. Kiska never shied away from confrontation with the Fico leadership and many Slovaks consider him to have considerably advanced the rule of law in the country. Commentators discuss how lasting his legacy will be.
A shining legacy
Kiska has left his mark on the country, Český rozhlas comments appreciatively:
“Without him there would be no President Zuzana Čaputová today, no opposition victory over Robert Fico, and no government led by Igor Matovič as we have today. Until the 2014 presidential election, Kiska was an entrepreneur, an outsider with no political experience. He brought a clear European orientation to the presidential palace and inspired a new generation of young, educated people to enter public life. We are still waiting in vain for such a development in the Czech Republic.”
Za ľudí (For the People), the party founded by Kiska, stands little chance of surviving without him, says Pravda:
“Andrej Kiska could easily have won a second term as president. However he decided to fight Fico's party for the office of prime minister - without a clue as to what awaited him in the election campaign. Suddenly the popular president was just one of many candidates in the fierce race for each vote. His presidential charisma gradually waned and his campaign was very weak. Now the party threatens to fall apart. In reality it only consisted of one big name: Kiska.”