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Highlights of Kiska’s first year

June 15, 2014 President Andrej Kiska swore the presidential oath and took up his office. 

President Andrej Kiska(Source: SME)

In his first presidential speech he said he wanted to be “a president who will stand up for all people regardless of their political beliefs or nationality”.  He also called on Slovak citizens to become engaged in community life and emphasised he wanted to be the president of all citizens, particularly those who need help. Kiska demonstrated this by inviting homeless people, senior citizens and young people raised in orphanages as guests to the ceremonial lunch in the presidential garden.

Read also:Kiska calls for active citizenship in inaugural speech

June 18, 2014

President Andrej Kiska recalled three members of the Judicial Council nominated by his predecessor Ivan Gašparovič, replacing the trio in the 18-member top judicial body overseeing the courts with his own nominees. Ján Klučka, Jozef Vozár and Elena Berthotyová replaced Eduard Bárány, Gabriela Šimonová and Mária Bujňáková. Bárány resigned one day earlier from the council on his own, saying he did not want to be associated with Kiska.

Read also:Kiska changes Judicial Council

July 2, 2014

Kiska appointed only one of six candidates for Constitutional Court judges approved by parliament: then-Supreme Court judge Jana Baricová, nominated by former president of the Supreme Court Štefan Harabin. He explained that she met expectations that Kiska and his team of advisors set for the top court.

Read also:Kiska rejects all but one Smer-nominated judge

July 25, 2014

Kiska distributed his first presidential salary to people in need, following through on a promise he gave in a televised election debate prior to the presidential vote. Kiska’s net salary is €5,376.30. He divided the sum among ten families, each getting €537.63. He has since been dividing his salary every month. His critics have labelled this an attempt at self-promotion.

Read also:Kiska gives away his salary, ten families get €537 each

September 3, 2014

Kiska requested the Constitutional Court to evaluate the four questions posed for the referendum on family and rule on whether they are in line with the constitution, and whether a referendum can be held on the issues it pertains to. He maintained that there were legitimate doubts over whether the questions pertain to fundamental rights. The court ruled on October 28 that three of the four questions that social conservatives wanted to pose to voters could go forward.

Read also:Referendum goes to court

November 12, 2014

Kiska revealed how he would vote in the referendum initiated by the Alliance for Family that sought to constitutionally define the concept of family. As a conservative person, he said he would support the first two questions referring to the definition of marriage and rights of adoption for same-sex couples.

Read also:Kiska will support two questions in referendum

November 26, 2014

Kiska made his first address to MPs, saying that politicians can hardly keep convincing people that the biggest problem of health care is a lack of money if the state tolerates murky deals and waste of public funds in the health-care sector. The speech came on the heels of a number of changes in senior political posts, including that of the speaker of parliament after the resignation of Pavol Paška, provoked by a scandal involving overpriced medical equipment and subsequent anti-corruption rallies.

Read also:Kiska makes first address to MPs

March 16, 2015

Kiska said he was dissatisfied with the government’s approach to health care and openly criticised Health Minister Viliam Čislák. This was the first time Kiska had made direct criticism toward a cabinet member public, as he said that Čislák had failed to respond to mounting scandals in the sector in the previous months.

Read also:Kiska slams government for health care

March 18, 2015

Kiska said he would not attend the celebrations held on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Moscow. He explained that in response to the events in Ukraine and Crimea he did not want “to participate in the celebration of army forces at a military parade”, but that he wanted to remember those who deserve it the most – the soldiers who died in WWII.

Read also:President will not go to Moscow

March 2015

Several media outlets reported about Kiska using the government’s special plane for private flights to Poprad where his family lives and back. Kiska denied the allegation. The first allegation about use of the plane for private purposes was published in October 2014 by the Topky.sk website.

Read also:Kiska alleged to have misused state plane

June 18, 2015

Kiska presented on June 18 his first state of the republic report in the parliament to mark the first anniversary of his inauguration and announced he would make it a tradition. In his speech Kiska pointed to issues that Slovakia needs to prioritise. Among other things, he said that helping refugees is a moral obligation.

Read also:Kiska: We need to restore citizens' trust in the state

 

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