Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič was sworn in by Constitutional Court President Ivetta Macejková at a solemn inauguration program during a parliamentary session on Monday, June 15, in the historic building of the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, the SITA newswire wrote.
After the oath of office, the head of state of the Slovak Republic began his second five-year presidential term. Vladimír Mečiar, the chairman of the one of the governing parties, HZDS, and one of Gašparovič's greatest critics, as well as parliamentary deputies from his party stayed away from the inauguration.
In addition, renegades from the opposition SMK party who plan to establish a new party did not come. Representatives of the SMK showed up for the ceremony though they said they do not plan to take part in further ceremonial events of the inauguration. One of the guests was also former MP Iveta Radičová whom the incumbent head of state defeated in the April 4 runoff presidential election. Former presidents Michal Kováč and Rudolf Schuster also attended the ceremony. No foreign statesmen were invited to the inauguration, the SITA newswire wrote.
In his opening speech, Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška (Smer) said that Gašparovič offers forethought, impartiality, and political conciliatoriness. He condemned the criticism that Gašparovič faced during his previous term. Ivan Gasparovic has been the president of Slovakia since 2004. Backed in his bid for re-election by two of the three governing parties, Smer and the SNS, he defeated opposition candidate Iveta Radičová by winning 55.53 percent of the vote. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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15. Jun 2009 at 14:00