Leaders

Andrej Kiska

Andrej Kiska

Andrej Kiska
Andrej Kiska in Senate of Poland.jpg
 
4th President of Slovakia
Incumbent
Assumed office
15 June 2014
Prime Minister Robert Fico
Preceded by Ivan Gašparovič
 
Personal details
Born (1963-02-02) 2 February 1963 
Poprad, Czechoslovakia
(now Slovakia)
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Martina Kisková
Children 5
Alma mater Slovak University of
Technology

Biography

Andrej Kiska was born to teacher parents on 2 February 1963. He is married to his second wife and has 5 children. In 1986, he received his engineering degree in microelectronics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava.

After graduation he worked as design engineer at Naftoprojekt Company in Poprad. In 1990, he went to the United States, where he worked as a shop assistant at a petrol station store and later as a construction site handyman. One and a half years later, he returned to Slovakia where he became co-owner of a company that went bankrupt after a few weeks.

For more than 15 years, he held various management positions and conducted business activities. He founded several companies, the most successful of which were Triangle and Quatro established in 1996. During their existence, these companies provided financial services to more than 1 million people and became the most successful hire-purchase companies in Slovakia. In 2005 he sold his entire stake in these companies to the VUB bank and decided to devote himself to charity work.

In 2006 he founded together with a friend Good Angel, a non-profit company for whose financing he donated one million euro of his own money. Good Angel helps families with children which have found themselves in financial distress because of a serious, life-threatening illness, and has become the most successfull non-corporate charity in Slovakia today. In 2011 he co-founded a Good Angel company in the Czech Republic.

In 2006, he won the Trend magazine award Manager of the Year, and in 2011 he was awarded the Crystal Wing for philanthropy.

In 2012, Andrej Kiska decided to run for president as independent and non-partisan candidate. The reason for this decision was his indignation at the state of Slovak society where established politicians often forget the problems of real people.

In presidential election run-off on 29 March 2014 he was elected president of the Slovak Republic. He received the votes of 1,307,065 voters, representing 59.38 percent of all ballots cast. He assumed the office of the President of the Slovak Republic after taking the oath of office at the inauguration ceremony on 15 June 2014.

Under the State Decorations Act, Andrej Kiska as President of the Slovak Republic holds the 1st class Andrej Hlinka Order, the 1st class Ľudovít Štúr Order, the 1st class Milan Rastislav Štefánik Cross, and the 1st Class Pribina Cross.

In addition the President Mr. Andrej Kiska has been given state decorations and awards since taking the office as follows:

DATE STATE DECORATIONS COUNTRY
7. 10. 2016 Steaua României Romania
2. 12. 2015 Stara planina Bulgarian Republic
19. 10. 2015 Maarjamaa Risti Keti Estonian Republic
DATE AWARDS COUNTRY
4. 11. 2016 International Prize of the Nationwide Program “Person of the Year” Ukraine
27. 11. 2015 New Europe 100 Challengers Poland
23. 6. 2015 The Freedom of the City of London Great Britain

(The part of article above is taken from prezident.sk)

Entrepreneurial career

Kiska was born in Poprad. He studied electrical engineering. His father was an active member of ruling Comunist Party of Czecho-Slovakia. He also applied for Comunist party membership, but was rejected. 

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. Company eventually agreed, paid the taxes and penalty. 

Philanthropy

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.

Election as President

In the first round of the 2014 presidential election, 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. Kiska won decisively in the second round, receiving nearly 60% of the vote. He took office on 15 June 2014.

Foreign policy

Andrej Kiska supports Kosovo independence and is in favour of Slovakia diplomatically recognising Kosovo as an independent sovereign state. Kiska has also come out against Russia over the Ukraine conflict and supports sanctions.

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