Milos Zeman’s Ten-Year Presidency Ended Last Night, Pavel’s Term To Begin Today

Zeman’s successor Petr Pavel is being sworn in today. Photo credit: ZM / Brno Daily.

Prague, March 9 (CTK) – The lowering of the presidential standard and the closing of the Gate of Giants at Prague Castle symbolically ended Czech President Milos Zeman’s ten-year tenure at midnight last night.

During the ceremony lasting several minutes, the Prague Castle Guard played the national anthem.

Zeman’s successor Petr Pavel is being sworn in today.

About 100 people gathered at Hradcanske square in the rain, some drinking champagne and chanting “At last” at midnight.

Zeman was the first directly elected Czech president. He was re-elected in 2018.

The Czech Republic will be without a president until Pavel is inaugurated at around 2:15pm. In the meantime, the powers of the head of state will be performed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS), Chamber of Deputies chair Marketa Pekarova Adamova (TOP 09) and Senate chairman Milos Vystrcil (ODS).

The presidential standard is raised at the Prague Castle when the head of state is present in the Czech Republic.

The Gate of Giants will remain closed until just before noon, when Pavel and his family will be the first to go through it. He will be welcomed by a salute from the commander of the Prague Castle Guard, Jaroslav Ackermann.

Pavel and his wife will then have lunch with the outgoing presidential couple, and at 2pm there will be a joint session of both houses of parliament where he will take his oath, officially taking up the presidential office.

On Tuesday, Zeman moved from the Lany presidential manor to his new house in Lany where he will retire.

Zeman will establish an office after he leaves his post and his wife Ivana Zemanova will serve as his assistant.

After leaving office, the president receives CZK 50,000 a month until the end of their life and a lump sum of the same amount for the lease of the office and salary for an assistant. The president is also entitled to bodyguards and an official car with a driver that can also be used for personal purposes.

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