The Low Post News

Kiska Wins Presidential Election in Slovakia

Slovak’s Prime Minister Robert Fico was overwhelmingly defeated in the country’s presidential election that would have helped cement his dominance politically. Fico was defeated by philanthropist and businessman Andrej Kiska showed preliminary results Sunday from the election.

Kiska, who is 51, earned 59% of the vote to only 41% for Fico. Fico was prime minister twice in the country of 5.4 million inhabitants. Voter turnout was determined to be 50%.

Fico conceded the election early while votes were being counted. Kiska, not a politician until this election, promised to run the country for everyone and will motivate people.

The election result is a sharp rebuff for Fico and the Smer party, which is center left. If he had won the largely ceremonial president post, Fico could have then had the opportunity to nominate one of his loyalists to head the government and then become the most powerful figure in politics in Slovakia.

The defeat came after Kiska’s candidacy was able to unite the center right that is normally very fractured. Fico was not able to garner sufficient support from what had been his traditional electorate.

Slovakia has attracted a number of investments in electronics and car manufacturing, and is one of the best performing economies in Europe. Fico’s government was unable however to reduce the unemployment rate that is sitting at 13.5%.

Despite Fico’s loss, the election is likely not to make much difference to the policy in the government. Fico’s center left party controls the majority in parliament with 83 of 150 seats and opposition parties will not pose a threat to his ability to run legislation through.

Fico said prior to the election he would resign as Prime Minister if defeated in the presidential election. The next election for the parliament is in 2016.

Kiska founded two loan companies for consumers and then sold the two and turned his focus to charity by creating foundations for those who are seriously ill.

The campaign became personal when Fico accused Kiska of making his wealth through usury and for having an association with the Church of Scientology, which could have been potentially damaging, as the country is largely Catholic. The two accusations were vehemently denied by Kiska.

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