President Zeman’s Inauguration: Protesters Takeover PragueČTK
Prague, March 8 (CTK) – Dozens of people protested against Milos Zeman before his presidential inauguration at a square near Prague Castle, the presidential seat, today, with the aim to emphasise Zeman’s duty to observe the constitution, the organiser Tomas Peszynski told journalists.
The demonstrators carried banners and a giant EU flag.
“The goal of the demonstration is to remind of the fact that the president, in spite of having won the [direct presidential election], has to observe certain rules of the democratic state, which is a member of the EU,” Peszynski said.
He said the demonstration protests against neither Zeman’s election in January nor his upcoming inauguration, but it is a message from citizens to citizens.
“This is a problem in all Visegrad Four (V4) countries. People believe that if someone wins elections, they can do anything they want to. We are afraid that he [Zeman] will not be trying to bridge the trench dividing the society but will rather further deepen it,” Peszynski said.
The V4 is comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Inscriptions on the protesters’ banners spoke of what a president should be like. He should fight for the EU instead of against it. He should unite society instead of dividing it. He should be a democrat and observe the constitution, the banners read.
The protesters also carried Czech and EU flags, badges with the portrait of the late first Czechoslovak and Czech post-communist president Vaclav Havel, and symbols of red boxer shorts hinting at an incident a couple years ago, when members of a hoax group removed the presidential flag from Prague Castle’s roof and replaced it with giant red boxer shorts.
Dozens of people, including Zeman’s fans and opponents, have also gathered at the Prague Castle courtyard before the Old Royal Palace where Zeman’s inauguration is taking place this afternoon. Zeman’s daughter Katerina joined the crowd, offering cakes to the people.