President Čaputová: an exceptional and difficult year

President Zuzana Čaputová officially took the post a year ago.

Zuzana Čaputová in front of the Presidential PalaceZuzana Čaputová in front of the Presidential Palace (Source: AP/TASR)

Exactly one year ago, on June 15, 2019, Zuzana Čaputová was officially appointed the first Slovak female president.

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“It was an exceptional and hard year in terms of the many situations we have faced and tasks that had to be handled,” Čaputová wrote on Facebook, referring to the general election, the changes to the government and the coronavirus pandemic.

The president admitted that there certainly will be many evaluations of her performance in the office, and she also encouraged people to assess how she manages to fulfil her promises. She does not plan to evaluate her performance though.

“I will be thanking,” the president continued. “I’m grateful that you have been here with me and I’ve been with you.”

A significant personality

Čaputová received 40.56 percent of the vote in the first round of the 2019 presidential election, held on March 16, 2019. In the second round on March 30, she beat her opponent Maroš Šefčovič after receiving 58.4 percent of the vote.

Related articleSlovakia earns reputation as a success story in the coronavirus pandemic Read more 

She officially took her post on June 15, 2019, becoming the youngest head of state in the history of Slovakia, and the first woman to hold this post.

In May 2019, Čaputová was named the European Personality of the Year. The European Leadership Awards, granted on May 6, 2019 in Brussels, honoured leaders across Europe for their exceptional achievements in politics, business and innovation.

She accepted the European Prize for Political Culture on August 10, 2019 in Ascona, Switzerland, and was named one of the most powerful people in Europe in the Politico news website’s Class of 2020 ranking, containing 28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe.

Related articleMatovič and Čaputová have something in common Read more 

Čaputová appeared on the 2019 list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women published by Forbes magazine.

She tops the rankings of the most trustworthy politicians in Slovakia, and is widely popular among opposition voters, as the recent Focus poll showed.

Moreover, Čaputová came first in a survey conducted by the Public Opinion Research Centre, which inquired among Czechs who is the most trustworthy world leader from a list shown to them. She was chosen as the most credible by 54 percent of the respondents. Czech President Miloš Zeman came second with 46 percent.

Performance on the Slovak political scene

Since taking over the post, altogether 1,379 people have asked Čaputová for a pardon. She has pardoned five people, three of them conditionally.

Related articleNew Yorker: Čaputová has used her position to create hope Read more 

She appointed the new government of Igor Matovič (OĽaNO), new Supreme Court President Ján Šikuta, and the missing Constitutional Court judges.

She has challenged several laws adopted by the parliament at the Constitutional Court. This includes a disputed 50-day moratorium on polls and the fast-track proceeding used to pass the 13th pensions. She has also vetoed several draft laws, the SITA newswire reported.

Back in May, Čaputová came to the parliament to hear the annual report of Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová in person to show her support, and delivered her first presidential state of the republic address to the parliament in early June.

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