Thursday, 24 April 2014

MPs honour Václav Havel

21 December 2011

Prague, Dec 20 (CTK) - Czech deputies observed a minute of silence to commemorate the death of former Czechoslovak and Czech president Vaclav Havel, who died on Sunday aged 75, at the beginning of the session of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament, yesterday.

Chamber of Deputies chairwoman Miroslava Nemcova quoted some words from Havel's addresses in the lower house. Then deputies listened to a recording of Havel's last address in his capacity as president in January, 2003.

Nemcova said all Havel's public appearances were unique and that they showed the foundation stones of the politics he created.

"Dear Mr President Vaclav Havel, thank you," Nemcova concluded her speech.

The solemn gathering ended with the tunes of the Czech national anthem.

Legislators have been signing the books of condolence in memory of Havel in the lower house's foyer since 09:00.

The government TOP 09 and Mayors and Independents (STAN) deputies wore a badge with Havel's portrait yesterday.

A large photograph of Havel with a black ribbon was placed in the lower house session hall on the seat for the head of state next to the chairperson.

Have became the first post-communist Czechoslovak president in December 1989. In 1993-2003 he was the first president of the independent Czech Republic.

Havel gave his first address in his capacity as president of the independent Czech Republic in the newly established Chamber of Deputies on February 23, 1993. He spoke about the split of Czechoslovakia.

Havel did not wish the joint state's division but he considered it inevitable, Nemcova recalled.

President Havel addressed deputies last time on January 15, 2003, shortly before his term of office expired.

"After all, we were not elected to our posts to always appeal to everyone. We were elected in hope that in accordance with our knowledge and our sincere conviction we will do what is in the long-term interest of the human community as a whole, in the interest of freedom, security and dignity of us all and in the interest of our life in peace and prosperity," Havel said then.

Hundreds of people have been waiting outside the Prague Crossroads, the former St Anne Church, in the Old Town where the coffin with Havel's body has been displayed since Monday. They laid flowers at the coffin.1

Thousand of people came there to pay their last respects to Havel on Monday.

The public can also sign the books of condolences at Prague Castle, the presidential seat, yesterday.

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