Kiska Won’t Run in Presidential Election, But Not Leaving Politics

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Slovak President Andrej Kiska (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, April 15 (TASR) – Slovak President Andrej Kiska announced at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday afternoon that he will not run in next year’s presidential election, but he isn’t planning to pull out of political life completely, either.

He said that his decision was influenced by several factors. “I’ve never hidden the fact that family life is very important to me,” stated Kiska, adding that last year’s events reminded him that time spent with the family is irreplaceable and that the family should not be set aside. Kiska admitted that he’s sometimes gone to the edge of his powers while carrying out his mandate. He gave the example of his decisions concerning the appointment of Constitutional Court judges and the recent reconstruction of the Government.

“I think it’s right if citizens choose a president who won’t have born the burden of struggles that I have, and, therefore, Slovakia will elect its president without my involvement,” stated Kiska.

Nevertheless, Kiska doesn’t consider the political struggle that he began with his entry into politics to be over. He’ll think over how to use the trust of a large section of the public in the best way in order to contribute towards the beginning of a new political era in Slovakia. “Slovakia needs a self-confident head of state that will not be afraid to stand up for the values of a modern and free democratic country,” stressed the president.

The presidential race is slated for the spring of 2019. Parliamentary political parties Smer-SD, the Slovak National Party (SNS), Most-Hid, Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) OLaNO and We Are Family haven’t yet presented their presidential candidates. Most of them are considering potential names, while some have already made the decision and will present their candidate soon.

Radovan Znasik, who has already announced his candidacy, intends to vie for votes as a civic candidate. Security analyst Juraj Zabojnik and political analyst Eduard Chmelar have also expressed interest in the presidential post. Supreme Court judge Stefan Harabin has declared his preliminary interest, as well. Financier Imrich Beres announced his intention to join the 2019 presidential race, but he looks set to give up his candidacy.