Final Word from Monday, May 6, 2002





President Václav Havel finally admitted on Fri. what ODS and ČSSD had suspected for months: That he might not give the winning party the first chance to form the government after the elections. He said he'll give the first opportunity to the party most likely to be able to create a coalition cabinet. It's difficult to say whether Havel fears more a minority ODS government backed by ČSSD or an ODS-ČSSD coalition. What seems clearer is that Havel, by fair means or foul, wants the Coalition to be in the next cabinet and Václav Klaus to be locked out of the jobs of premier and president. If the winning party, which Havel no doubt fears will be ODS, manages only a slight election victory, Havel's strategy might not cost him much credibility. However, if the winning margin is large, Havel risks a considerable backlash from voters and the media.

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