Zeman’s Term In Office To End With Lowering of Presidential Flag On Wednesday Evening

The last part of the ceremony will take place in the St Vitus Cathedral, with a prayer and a performance from the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Photo credit: ZM / Brno Daily.

Prague, March 6 (CTK) – The second and final term in office of outgoing Czech President Milos Zeman will end with the ceremonial lowering of the presidential standard at midnight on the evening of Wednesday, 8 March, outgoing Presidential Office head Vladimir Krulis told CTK.

The Gate of Titans, the main entry to the Prague Castle complex, will be closed to signal that the post is empty until the inauguration of new president, Petr Pavel, in the afternoon of Thursday, 9 March. After Pavel takes his oath, the gate will reopen.

Zeman’s second term will end at midnight on Wednesday, which will leave the country without a president for a few hours. During this time, the presidential powers will be shared between PM Petr Fiala (ODS), Senate chair Milos Vystrcil (ODS), and lower house chair Marketa Pekarova Adamova (TOP 09).

The presidential standard, one of the symbols of the Czech Republic, is flown at Prague Castle whenever the president is present in the country. While it is being hauled down, the Czech national anthem will be played, Krulis said.

The main entrance gate will be re-opened when Pavel and his family enter Prague Castle, where he will then take his presidential oath.

Before the inauguration ceremony, the new presidential couple will meet the outgoing one.

The inauguration will start in the Vladislav Hall at 2pm at a joint meeting of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, the upper and the lower houses of the Czech parliament.

As well as the high-ranking senior elected representatives, the ceremony will also be attended by former president Vaclav Klaus with his wife, and Dagmar Havlova, the widow of the first Czech president Vaclav Havel, who died in 2011.

The meeting will be launched by a speech from Pekarova Adamova. Pavel will then approach the rostrum alongside Vystrcil, to take his oath in front of the Czech constitution, signing the document with the oath afterwards.

After the oath, troops will fire 21 salvos from Prague’s Petrin hill, accompanied by the Czech national anthem. This will be followed by a speech from the new president.

When the inauguration is over, Pavel will greet the public from the balcony in the third courtyard of Prague Castle. Czech Chief of Staff Karel Rehka will then salute Pavel at the first courtyard, before the new president lays flowers at the statue of the first Czechoslovak president Tomas Garrigue Masaryk in front of the Prague Castle complex.

After a celebration with around 2,500 people, the last part of the ceremony will take place in the St Vitus Cathedral, with a prayer and a performance from the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

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