The liberal and pro-European lawyer and anti-corruption activist Zuzana Čaputová will officially be inaugurated as Slovakia's president on Saturday. The first woman ever to hold this post in this country's history replaces Andrej Kiska who wants to remain in politics via a party he is about to launch. He has promised to release more details about this political project next week.
Born in Bratislava on June 21, 1973 Zuzana Čaputová studied law at Comenius University in Bratislava. She worked in the legal department at Pezinok Town Hall (a town near Bratislava) before joining the non-governmental organisation Via Iuris as a lawyer. Her name is linked to a successful struggle against an illegal landfill site in Pezinok. For 14 years she actively led a public campaign to prevent the authorisation of the waste dump that would be a significant source of pollution. For her role in the case she was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in 2016. In September 2017 she announced that she was leaving the Via Iuris team while continuing to practice law, specialising in environmental issues.
She was also active in collecting signatures for a petition demanding the revokation of Vladimir Mečiar's 1998 amnesties related to the kidnapping of former President Michal Kováč's son and the murder in 1996 of Róbert Remiáš, who served as a contact for a key witness of the abduction.
Zuzana Čaputová ran for president with the support of the non-parliamentary Progressive Slovakia party. After the first round of the elections she resigned from her post as Progressive Slovakia's vice-chair.