Miloš Zeman took his second presidential oath of office at Prague Castle
on Thursday at the start of a second five-year presidential term. The
inauguration ceremony in the historic Vladislav Hall took place in the
presence of both houses of Parliament.
Some 700 guests, including deputies, senators, diplomats and other personalities attended the event, which was transmitted on a big screen on nearby Hradčanské Square.
The president signed his oath of office at a table used by Czechoslovakia’s first president Tomáš G. Masaryk which, like so many other pieces of furniture and architectural elements at Prague Castle, was designed by the Slovenian architect Jossip Plecnik.
The inauguration ceremony ended with the national anthem and a 21-gun salute in the president’s honour.
In his inauguration speech the president criticized the media for “mentoring the public”, expressed support for direct elections of mayors and governors and said he would like to see Czechs become more engaged in public affairs. A number of right-wing deputies left the assembly hall in protest of the president’s criticism of the media.
After the ceremony, the head of state and the First Lady visited St. Vitus’ Cathedral to pay homage to the remains of St Wenceslas, the patron saint of the country.
Disinformation and its role was one of the themes of the latest Czech presidential elections. Re-elected head of state Miloš Zeman was cast as pro-Russian and so it was a question how much stories boosting his chances and smearing the reputations of his opponents would be used during the campaign. The jury appears to be out, though some experts believe home grown disinformation played much more of a role than anything that was imported.
The Czech Syndicate of Journalists has announced it is expelling one of its
members, Karel Slezák, from its ranks for his part in an incident at the
election headquarters of President Miloš Zeman last Saturday.
Slezák physically attacked another journalist for wanting to take pictures of a Zeman supporter who collapsed in the hotel, allegedly after consuming too much alcohol.
The journalist in question lodged a complaint soon after and police are investigating the incident as suspected breach of the peace.
Days after losing to Miloš Zeman in presidential elections, academic Jiří Drahoš is suggesting he may remain in politics. The political novice, who received 2.7 million votes for 48.6 percent of the total, told Czech Television on Monday that he was considering founding a new party and also looking at a possible Senate run. I discussed the 68-year-old’s potential future with political scientist Petr Just.
A poll conducted by Kantar TNS and published by public broadcaster Czech TV
at the weekend, found that some 47 percent of voters in the second round of
the election who backed challenger Jiří Drahoš did so primarily to try
and block a second term for the incumbent. Fifty-two percent voted for Mr
Drahoš for who he was as a candidate.
The poll found that 77 percent of President Miloš Zeman cast votes “for” the candidate as opposed to 22 percent admitted they specifically wanted to prevent Mr Drahoš from winning the office.
President Zeman won what in the end was a fairly close election, earning roughly 150,000 votes more than his opponent.
The president of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier has followed Russia’s
president, Vladimir Putin, and others in extending his congratulations to
the Czech head of state Miloš Zeman who won the election in the Czech
Republic at the weekend and will serve a second and final five year term in
In his congratulations, President Steinmeier noted that his country and Czechia shared not only historical ties but ties and a commitment to democracy and the lawful state within the European Union and NATO.
Mr Putin congratulated the Czech president earlier, writing that he hoped to continue in successful progress on bilateral and international questions. On Saturday, Mr Zeman defeated challenger Jiří Drahoš by just over 150,000 votes.
Congratulations for his re-election were received by Czech president Miloš
Zeman from the presidents of Russia and China.
Vladimir Putin sent his congratulations along with wishes that 73-year-old Zeman enjoyed good health. He added that he was hoped for continued cooperation on issues of bilateral and multinational importance in the future.
China’s Xi Jinping the development of closer bilateral relations as well as the readiness to raise them to the highest level of strategic partnership.
Zeman’s cultivation of close ties with Russia and China were one of the themes of the election campaign.
The presidential election between incumbent Miloš Zeman and challenger Jiří Drahoš was, in the end, decided by just over 150,000 thousand votes. Both candidates predicted correctly that each vote would matter and the losing camp will perhaps now rue opportunities missed. Still, Mr Drahoš said in his concession speech that there was new energy now which would continue.