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Independent newcomer Andrej Kiska inaugurated as Slovakia's new president

Political newcomer Andrej Kiska has been inaugurated as Slovakia's new president.

The successful 51-year-old businessman-turned-philanthropist was elected to the largely ceremonial post in March. It handed an embarrassing defeat to his major rival — leftist Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Taking the presidential oath Sunday at an extraordinary session of Parliament, Kiska becomes Slovakia's fourth president since the country gained independence after the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

He succeeds Ivan Gasparovic, the only president since independence to win two five-year terms.

Kiska was until recently a relative unknown in Slovakia, and he attracted voters fed up with corruption and politics-as-usual to beat Fico.

As prime minister, Fico remains Slovakia's most powerful politician but will have to deal with a president who is more critical than Gasparovic was.