Final Word from Monday, November 4, 2002





Jan Kasl said before the municipal elections that he wanted to use a victory in Prague as a stepping stone for taking his European Democrats into national politics. He didn't win in Prague, but his second-place finish behind ODS was strong enough to give him some options. He can strike a coalition deal in Prague with ODS, and risk soiling his image. He can give conditional support to a minority ODS leadership. He can try to sideline ODS by joining up with all the other parties. Or he can enter the opposition in Prague and devote all his time to recruiting victorious independent candidates from across the CR to join his party. Ivan Pilip said after US-DEU suffered a humiliating defeat in the Prague city elections that US is clearly not an alternative to ODS for right-wing voters. Kasl's European Democrats are. But their next move will be crucial.

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