Michal Kováč was Slovakia's first president after the country became independent following the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Kováč was elected in February of that year and served one term in the presidential post.
President Andrej Kiska, in his official reaction to the news about the death of Kováč, noted that he served as president in a very complicated time between 1993-1998 when Slovakia fought a ruthless struggle for its internal character and its future on the map of Europe and the world.
"Mr President Kováč stood his ground in this fight and with his work helped Slovakia not to completely leave the road that later gradually led us to the European family of free nations and states," Kiska stated. He also noted that it is unfortunate and also characteristic of our time that Kováč did not live to see justice enacted for the abduction of his son.
Kováč was born in 1930 in the eastern-Slovak village of Ľubiša. He was a economics graduate, and prior to his arrival in high politics worked in the banking sector.
Former president Kováč was the holder of several honours, including the Order of the White Doublecross, the Order of Ľudovít Štúr, the Cross of Milan Rastislav Štefánik, the Order of Andrej Hlinka, and the Cross of Pribina.
In the final years of his life Kováč suffered from severe health problems, mostly caused by Parkinsons disease.
5. Oct 2016 at 22:20 | Compiled by Spectator staff