Slovakia to Hold National Mourning on Thursday to Honour Ex-President Kovac

National mourning to honour ex-president Kovac (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 12 (TASR) – Based on a Cabinet decision from October 6, there will be a national mourning in Slovakia between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursday (October 13) in connection with Slovak ex-president Michal Kovac’s passing away. His state funeral will take place on the same day.

During the mourning, state authorities and institutions, as well as regional and local government bodies, will use a special flag decoration. The Interior Ministry, whose jurisdiction also includes national symbols, called on them to do so. Slovakia’s state flags will be flown at half-mast, said Marta Fabianova of the Interior Ministry Office’s press department. Black flags will be flown along with them. The flag decoration’s adjustment in connection with the national mourning will start on Thursday at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.

Operation of gambling will be postponed in Slovakia on Thursday in connection with the national mourning. Therefore, it will be impossible to place bets, verify wins, pay out wins and do other activities related to gambling between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., said Rastislav Cepe, a spokesman for the national lottery company Tipos.

Public-service broadcaster RTVS will make changes in its programme due to the state funeral of ex-president Kovac on Thursday. It will broadcast the funeral live and remove all entertainment shows from its schedule.

The national mourning is declared by the incumbent Government in line with the law on state symbols and their use in case of the death of a president, parliamentary chairperson or prime minister. The Cabinet is also entitled to do so in case of the country’s emotional distress caused by the death of a person with extraordinary influence on public life or in case of the commemoration of a person who died tragically.

Slovak cabinets have so far declared a national mourning eight times. The last time they did so was on December 23, 2011 due to the death of the last Czechoslovak president, Vaclav Havel.