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Philanthropist elected first Slovak president with no communist past

Published on Mar 30, 2014 10:01 AM
Slovakia's presidential candidate Andrej Kiska smiles during a news conference at his party headquarters after the first unofficial results showed he won the presidential run-off elections in Bratislava on March 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BRATISLAVA (AFP) - Political newcomer and millionaire Andrej Kiska emerged out of nowhere to win a landslide in Saturday's presidential run-off, preventing veteran leftist Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico from tightening his grip on power.

A non-aligned centrist who made his fortune in the consumer-credit business, the 51-year-old Kiska will be Slovakia's first president since independence in 1993 without a past in the Communist party.

"I want to re-establish the people's trust in the office of president," Mr Kiska said in a victory speech at his campaign headquarters in the capital Bratislava.

The millionaire-turned-philanthropist who has given away most of his fortune to charity also vowed to "make politics more human."

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