Why this story matters:
Slovak journalists polled 53 people active in the public sphere, asking them: "Who is the person of the year?" The winner of the poll is the president, Andrej Kiska.
"Because he brought humanity into politics," explained sociologist and leader of the 1989 Velvet revolution, Fedor Gál.
"He is walking on thin ice as he touches upon issues that others are afraid to talk about," believes writer Monika Kompaníková.
The president's politicies are anti-racist, anti-fascist and open-minded. Lately, he supported LGBT activists in their fight for the legal protection of same-sex couples. This may sound like a normal thing to do, but in Slovakia this is a significant departure from tradition, because most politicians shy away from openly supporting sexual minorities.
Recently, he invited refugees from Iraq to an official dinner before Christmas. They fled their homes during the war and are trying to build their life anew in a Slovak town called Nitra. Surprisingly, on social media the majority of comments about the dinner were positive. Which just goes to show that Kiska deserves his title.
Details from the story:
- In the vote for “The Person of the year”, president Kiska received 8 votes out of 53.
- The runner-up was Ján Lunter, the tofu producer who defeated fascist candidate Marian Kotleba in the regional elections.
- The opinion poll among public figures was held by the journalists of the Slovak daily Denník N.