Former Slovak President Andrej Kiska, leader of the government party For the People (Za ĺudí), has decided to end his political career and withdraw from public life, stating health issues as the main reason. He made the announcement after months of silence on his Facebook page yesterday.
Kiska also expressed disappointment that his party is the smallest member of the governing coalition after the February parliamentary elections. “My health does not allow me to remain active in politics,” Kiska wrote, adding that he will have another operation on Monday, the third in five years and the second in less than a year.
„Despite last year’s surgery, the heart still suffers from an arrhythmia, which sometimes cannot be removed even after repeated tries,“ added Kiska. He, therefore, announced to his party’s leadership that he would not run for chairman at the August assembly.
According to him, the party is not about one person, and everyone is replaceable. Kiska also noted that the For the People Party needs to “take a breath again”, even though representatives of the party manage the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry handling European Union funds in the current government.
“Our minister and our 12 deputies are working to make Slovakia a more decent country, where justice applies to everyone equally, where there is no corruption. We beat the former Prime Minister Robert Fico for good, and he has no chance to return. But that is not enough, Slovakia must move forward,” said the former president.
During his tenure, Kiska also clashed many times with Prime Minister Fico, whose political decline began after the assassination of journalist Ján Kuciak and his partner. A wave of outrage forced Fico to resign as head of government. The parliamentary elections on the last day of February ended the dominance of Fico’s Social Democracy Party, which left for the opposition after four victories in a row.
Back in March, Kiska announced that he was resigning from the parliamentary mandate. He also justified this by health complications, due to which he did not participate in the negotiations on the creation of a four-party government coalition.
Title image: In this file picture taken on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, Slovak President Andrej Kiska addresses the media at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria. On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, Slovakia’s outgoing President Andrej Kiska announced he’s planning to create a new political party once his term in office expires in June. Kiska, a successful businessman-turned-philanthropist, was not standing for a second five-year term in the largely ceremonial post (AP Photo/Ronald Zak/File)