Andrej Kiska (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈandrɛj ˈkiska]; born 2 February 1963) is a Slovak entrepreneur, writer and philanthropist who has been President of Slovakia since 2014. He ran as an independent candidate in the 2014 presidential election and was elected as President in the second round of voting. He has written two books about happiness, success and his life.
|4th President of Slovakia|
|Assumed office |
15 June 2014
|Prime Minister||Robert Fico|
|Preceded by||Ivan Gašparovič|
|Succeeded by||Zuzana Čaputová (elect)|
|Born||2 February 1963|
|Spouse(s)||Mária Kisková (1985–2001; divorced)|
Martina Kisková (m. 2001)
|Alma mater||Slovak University of|
Early and personal lifeEdit
Kiska was born in Poprad. He studied electrical engineering. His father was an active member of the ruling Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. He also applied for Communist party membership, but was rejected.
Kiska was married to Mária Kisková, an educator and politician from 1985 until 2001. They had two children, Andrej Kiska (1986) and Natália Kisková (1990). The couple divorced in 2001 after 18 years of marriage.
In 1990, after the Velvet Revolution, he moved to the United States. Later he founded Triangel and Quatro, two Slovakia-based hire-purchase companies that give the buyer the possibility to pay for goods in several installments over a number of months instead of paying the full price at once.
Tax authorities accused his co-owned company KTAG (with his brother Jaroslav) of tax non-compliance and under-payments, regarding expenses for his presidential campaign. The company eventually agreed to pay the taxes and a penalty.
Tax non-compliance and legal problemsEdit
In his personal tax filing he did not disclose personal propagation before elections performed by his company as a non-cash income, but claimed that he paid for it. Eventually tax office confirmed he did not pay, did not report non-cash income, and his company did not report income from propagation activities but fully deducted all VAT. Remaining costs additionally decreased tax base.
In 2006, Kiska co-founded a non-profit charitable organization called Dobrý anjel (translated as Good Angel), in which donors help families that have found themselves in a difficult financial situation as a result of a family member contracting a serious disease (such as cancer). By 2016, more than 170,000 people have donated to this organization in Slovakia. In 2014 Good Angel expanded their activities also to Czech Republic, where 60.000 are paying their monthly contributions in 2016. In addition to that, Kiska donates his monthly presidential salary to people in need.
In the first round of the Slovak presidential election, 2014, Kiska placed second with 24% of the vote, behind Prime Minister Robert Fico (28%). As none of candidates got more than 50% of votes, Kiska and Fico progressed to a presidential runoff vote on 29 March 2014. With the support of right-wing parties and other defeated candidates, Kiska won decisively in the second round, receiving nearly 60% of the vote. He took office on 15 June 2014.
Kiska announced on 15 May 2018 that he will not participate in 2019 presidential election, arguing that his departure might end "the era of political confrontation" his country faced and citing a desire to spend more time with his family. At the time Kiska made the announcement, polls indicated that he was Slovakia's most trusted politician and that he would have likely been the frontrunner in the election had he chosen to present himself as a candidate.
Honours and awardsEdit
- Slovakia: Order of the White Double Cross
- Slovakia: Order of Ľudovít Štúr
- Slovakia: Pribina Cross
- Slovakia: Order of Andrej Hlinka
- Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria
- Estonia: Collar of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana
- Germany: Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Monaco: Grand Cross of the Order of Saint-Charles
- Norway: Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav
- Romania: Collar of the Order of the Star of Romania
- "Slovak PM Fico, political novice advance to run-off presidential vote". Reuters. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- "Slováci volí prezidenta. Fica ohrožuje filantrop Kiska" (in Czech). Týden. 15 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- "Kandidát na prezidenta Andrej Kiska: Najvyšším zmyslom života je pomáhať druhým!" (in Slovak). Topky.sk. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- "President Kiska has a new baby son". The Slovak Spectator. 2017-07-10. Archived from the original on 2014-11-17. Retrieved 2018-08-25.
- "Novým slovenským prezidentem bude Andrej Kiska" (in Czech). novinky.cz. 29 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Andrej Kiska - životopis" (in Slovak). DatabazeKnih. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
- "Hire-purchase definition". Investopedia. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
- "Čo je systém Dobrý anjel" (in Slovak). Dobrý anjel. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
- "Zoznam Dobrých anjelov" (in Slovak). Dobrý anjel. March 1, 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
- "DOBRÝ ANDĚL, nadace". DOBRÝ ANDĚL. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
- "Millionaire Andrej Kiska elected first Slovak president with no communist past", Telegraph Online, 30 March 2014, accessed 30 March 2014.
- "Andrej Kiska inaugurated as Slovakian president". Europe Online Magazine. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- "Kiska nebude kandidovať na prezidenta". domov.sme.sk (in Slovak). Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "EU to Lose Key Ally in Slovakia as President Won't Seek New Term". Bloomberg.com. 2018-05-15. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
- "Milioner na čelu Slovačke". B92. 2014-03-30. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
- "Parteiloser Millionär wird slowakischer Präsident". Die Welt. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
- "Slovak president rejects PM's negative view of Russian sanctions". The Prague Post. 2014-08-15. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-04-02.
- "Slovak President Kiska: EU Must Stand United on Russia". The Wall Street Journal. 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2015-04-02.
- "Slovakian President Andrej Kiska meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg". Ukraine Today. 2015-03-03. Retrieved 2015-04-02.
- "President will not go to Moscow". The Slovak Spectator. 2015-03-18. Retrieved 2015-04-02.