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Vondráček: All rectors, regional governors invited to inauguration

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Prague, March 7 (CTK) – All university rectors and regional governors have been finally invited to attend Milos Zeman’s March 8 inauguration as Czech president for the second term of office, Czech lower house chairman Radek Vondracek (ANO) told reporters on Wednesday.

He said he has additionally invited the rectors and governors who did not receive an invitation from the Presidential Office.

The list of the guests invited by the Presidential Office did not contain some personalities who had fallen out with Zeman or supported his rival in the January presidential election.

Vondracek said the lacking invitations for some is a mistake.

Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK that the Presidential Office is focusing on the preparations of the inauguration and does not allow itself to be distracted by personal issues.

Vondracek said letters of invitations have been traditionally delivered by the Presidential Office, which told him that it did not wish the invitation of anyone beyond its list of guests.

“Last night, we found out that there has probably been an administrative mistake,” Vondracek said.

“After a thorough consideration and in order to eliminate a possible conflict or a rift, I have invited some of those concerned, which means some regional governors and one rector. The invitations have been sent to them by e-mail and the personalities have been addressed by phone…Let’s see what interest they will show in it,” Vondracek said.

He mentioned Brno’s Masaryk University Rector Mikulas Bek, who had personal disputes with Zeman in the past.

CTK has found out that besides Bek, the invitations had not been extended to five regional governors and also Brno Mayor Petr Vokral ANO), who backed Zeman’s rival, former Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos, in the presidential election.

The governors of the remaining eight regions have been invited, as have been the other big towns’ mayors.

“For the moment, I hope we have coped with it dignifiedly. I consider it settled,” Vondracek said, referring to the controversy of the letters of invitation.

The ceremony takes places at the joint session of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate at the Prague Castle on Thursday.

Vondracek said the Chamber of Deputies invited all deputies, senators and government members to the joint session.

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