This time next year, Andrej Kiska will no longer be Slovakia’s president. His last state of the republic address to the parliament revolved around the main issues Slovakia has been dealing with the first half of 2018: the murder of a journalist and the political crisis that followed.
An incident occurred some four minutes into the president’s speech when Parliament Speaker Andrej Danko interrupted him to discipline the MPs of the extremist LSNS who held banners saying “Traitor” sitting in their places in the plenum. After they refused to put down the “visual aids”, which are not allowed based on the parliament’s rules of procedure, Danko expelled them from the room.
In the opening of his speech, Kiska labeled the last, unfinished article of Jan Kuciak that was published posthumously as the “most important state of the republic report in 2018”. Kiska spoke about the deep mistrust in the state that prevails in Slovak society, but there is determination to change it.
In his own address, Kiska mentioned, apart from the murder and the lack of trust in the state, the recent killing of expat Henry Acorda in Bratislava, the problems of farmers, the upcoming parliamentary votes about the new rules for police and the election of Constitutional Court judges, as w ell as the demographic challenges Slovakia is failing to respond to.
These are the notable quotes from the speech Kiska gave in the parliament on June 13, 2018.
1. Historical parallels
“It is possible to damage faith in justice without the abuse of powers like the preventive amnesties of those who committed serious crimes – merely through the lack of sensitivity, responsibility, and courage to act in decisive moments. Or, on the contrary, with arrogance, the feeling of unlimited power and illusion that politicians who won elections own the state.”
Kiska made historical parallels with the 1990s when Slovakia lived through the kidnapping of the president’s son and the murder of Robert Remiáš, and the subsequent amnesties of Vladimir Mečiar that the parliament only revoked in 2017.