Slovak environmental lawyer Zuzana Caputova was on Saturday sworn in as the EU member’s first female president, surprising observers with a speech that lacked the government criticism she was known for on the campaign trail.
The community activist, who ran on the slogan “Stand up to evil,” was largely unknown before she launched her presidential bid in the eurozone member of 5.4 million people.
The 45-year-old environmental lawyer won the March ballot with 58 percent of the vote thanks in part to voter disillusionment with the governing coalition a year after the murder of an investigative journalist plunged the country into crisis.
“I did not come to rule, I came to serve citizens, and residents of Slovakia,” the liberal politician, who is pro-choice and promotes greater rights for same-sex couples, said in her inaugural speech in Bratislava.
“I offer expertise, I offer emotion and I offer a healthy activist approach. So I offer my mind, my heart and my hands,” she added alongside family, former presidents, politicians and members of her presidential campaign.