Final Word from Tuesday, November 12, 2002





The Democrats of Jan Kasl won a solid 18% of the vote in the Prague municipal elections but will need to gain a strong voice at city hall to maintain any momentum. Kasl admitted yesterday that being in the opposition could sideline his party and make it difficult to build a national presence. But winning a place in a coalition government won't be easy. Kasl can't work with parts of ODS, and ČSSD's mayoral candidate, Jiří Paroubek, is desperate to cut a deal with ODS to maintain the status quo, because he did poorly in the elections. If an ODS-ČSSD coalition appears inevitable, perhaps Kasl's best hope is to sharply attack the idea and to try to shame ODS into forming a one-party minority government. Kasl could offer it his conditional support. This would put him constantly in the spotlight and give him a platform for going national.

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