Domestic abuser tries to run for Slovak presidency

Former politician Imrich Béreš announced he would run in the 2019 presidential election, but his ambitions were cut short when it was revealed that he physically abused his former wife, Zuzana Bérešová. 

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Domestic abuser tries to run for Slovak presidency - NewsMavens
Imrich Béreš, Facebook.

Why this story matters:

Slovaks are widely disillusioned with their political elite after the unsatisfactory handling of the Kuciak murder. In the wake of several high-profile resignations, many are starting to discuss what kind of president the country needs. 

But, this month, Slovaks also had to ask themselves if they would be willing to vote for a man who attacked and choked his wife, and then denied everything.

On April 16, former politician and long-time entrepreneur Imrich Béreš officially announced that he would run for president. On the same day, a 2003 hospital report leaked, revealing he had violently attacked his then wife, Zuzana Bérešová.

A day later, he backtracked and said he would not run because the presidential race would take too much of a toll on his family. Many took his withdrawal as a confirmation of the domestic abuse claims. Which begs the question: how could a man who committed a violent crime ever believe he would be a good president for a country so fed up with abusive politicians?

Details from the story:

  • Imrich Béreš is a financier and former politician, now mostly known for being a judge in the popular TV show about folk dance "Zem spieva".
  • His former wife, Zuzana Bérešová, did not speak to the media -- she only stated that Béreš did not beat her and did not comment the medical report.
  • Two well-known figures -- politician Milan Kňažko and priest Róbert Bezák -- decided not to attend Béreš's press conference after news of the report were made public. 
  • Priest Róbert Bezák said that he knows the allegations are true, and regrets not having known earlier. He added that he advises women in abusive relationships to leave their partners, but he also acknowledges that circumstances often prevent women from leaving.
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