Former Slovak President Kiska creates new political party

Outgoing Slovak President Andrej Kiska accompanied by his wife Martina waves farewell in front of the Presidential Palace in Bratislava before new Slovak President Zuzana Caputova takes her presidential oath in Bratislava, Slovakia, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (Dalibor Gluck/CTK via AP)

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BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Former Slovak President Andrej Kiska is kicking off a new centrist political party.

Kiska says his “For People” party’s ambition is to unite with other opposition forces to end the long-term dominance of the leftist Smer-Social Democracy party led by populist former Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Kiska’s term in office was marked by clashes with Fico, whose party was tarnished by corruption scandals. Kiska supported huge street protests that led to the fall of Fico’s coalition government amid a political crisis triggered by the slaying last year of an investigative reporter looking into possible widespread government corruption.

Kiska, a successful businessman-turned-philanthropist, did not stand for a second five-year term. Liberal environmental activist Zuzana Caputova was inaugurated as the country’s first female president on Saturday.

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