Václav Klaus promises “conservative” use of presidential power in second term
President Václav Klaus was inaugurated for a second five-year term at Prague Castle on Friday morning, in a ceremony that included the national anthem and a 21-gun salute. Mr Klaus will serve in the largely symbolic post until 2013, and observers expect little change in the style or the substance of his presidency.
It’s an oath that has changed little over the years – the president places his hand on the Czech constitution and pledges allegiance to the Czech Republic. He promises to uphold its constitution and laws, and to carry out the duties of office in the interests of all its citizens and to best of his conscience.
So Václav Klaus will be president of the Czech lands until March 7th, 2013, and judging by his public statements his second presidency will differ little from his first. On one hand he will continue to be a force for stability and continuity in Czech society, on the other he is unlikely to refrain from making the bold claims - on global warming, on NGOs, and so many other issues - that so infuriate his opponents. Perhaps one exception will be the EU – the Czech presidency is fast approaching, and while Mr Klaus remains unlikely to hoist the EU flag above Prague Castle, the rhetoric might be toned down…at least a bit.