One of the first things Slovakia’s newly elected Head of State, Zuzana Caputova, did was to visit the shrine of murdered journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee.
Slovakia’s new President is a woman who campaigned to fight corruption and environmental destruction. She bucked a populist trend sweeping Europe by taking nearly 60% of the vote, running on a slogan of ‘stand up to evil’.
No stranger to tough battles, Caputova had joined tens of thousands of other anti-government protesters after Kuciak was gunned down alongside his fiancee in February 2018. She captured the public’s eagerness for change.
One of the first things she did was visit the shrine for Kuciak and his fiancee to light a candle, in stark contrast to Malta where the government clears the protest memorial for Daphne Caruana Galizia on almost a daily basis despite citizens’ persistence in laying candles and flowers at the Great Siege monument opposite the law courts in Valletta. The protest memorial has been cleared over 100 times by the Maltese government.
Caputova paid her respects to Kuciak, while in Malta Labour MPs and Party officials continue to fuel the flames of hatred against the Maltese journalist brutally killed in a car bomb a few metres away from her home in October 2017.
Slovak authorities have charged businessman Marian Kocner, who had links to Malta, with the contract killing linked to Kuciak’s work and have charged a businessman with ordering the alleged murders.
“Let us look for what connects us. Let us promote cooperation above personal interests,” Caputova said after her victory.
Known as the country’s Erin Brokovich, after the US activist played by Julia Roberts in the 2000 Oscar-nominated film, Caputova won a major environmental prize in 2016 for successfully fighting a toxic waste dump in her hometown of Pezinok.