Miloš Zeman sworn in for second presidential term

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.