Final Word from Wednesday, October 16, 2002





Why is Vladimír Špidla trying so hard to prevent Miloš Zeman from becoming president? Zeman's rating among ČSSD's voters is low mainly because of his crudeness, but Pavel Verner of Právo told Czech Radio recently that Špidla's objections to Zeman are more political and aren't based on personal dislike. Špidla, Verner said, is against Zeman's vision of a two-party system. As president, Zeman wouldn't likely change his political views. The presidency, in fact, would be an opportunity for Zeman or Václav Klaus to resurrect their power-sharing strategy. Petr Uhl said in Právo today that if the two faced each other in direct elections, Zeman would probably win. His crudeness bothers people less than Klaus' self-love, Uhl said, and most people consider Zeman's politics - unlike Klaus' - to have been successful. In this light, Špidla's opposition to Zeman seems to be a question of his own political survival.

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