Slovakia's first female president, Zuzana Caputova, takes office

Bratislava (dpa) - Pro-European liberal lawyer Zuzana Caputova became Slovakia's youngest and first female president on Saturday when she formally took office.

"I did not come to rule," the 45-year-old told a special session of parliament in Bratislava. "I came to serve the citizens."
Caputova was elected in March as the torch-bearer of a cross-party movement against corruption and abuse of office. She resigned as a member of the liberal Progressive Slovakia party before her inauguration.
Her victory came after months of demonstrations against the February 2018 murder of journalist Jan Kuciak, who was shot dead at his home near Bratislava while working on a story about links between the Slovak government and the Italian Mafia.
Caputova, a single mother of two daughters, has been repeatedly criticized by the church and other conservative groups for her stance on abortion and homosexuals, but said her victory showed that Slovakia is not as conservative as many people believe it is.
Caputova has been praised across party lines for the balance with which she chose the experts who will serve in her team of advisors. Numerous national minorities - including the Roma - and other socially disadvantaged groups will be given a voice in the presidential palace with the appointment of a prominent poverty researcher as presidential advisor.

Saturday, June 15th 2019

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