Final Word from Monday, October 14, 2002





Early last week, direct presidential elections looked unlikely, but today they seem almost inevitable. Jan Zahradil of ODS said yesterday that his party now supports direct elections as an expedient - and the only - way to elect the "best" candidate, Václav Klaus. Most of the other parties have now said they'll support the necessary constitutional amendment. ODS's bluntness about its motives was disarming and forces its opponents to reassess their plans. It now seems very likely that Klaus will face Miloš Zeman in direct elections. In response, US-DEU (and perhaps part of ČSSD) might decide to mount a campaign for allowing Václav Havel to run again for president, despite a constitutional restriction on this. Havel is probably the only person with a chance of preventing the next president from being named either Klaus or Zeman.

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