Final Word from Monday, December 23, 2002





Newly elected ODS Chairman Mirek Topolánek could get in the way of both Václav Klaus and Miloš Zeman in their effort to succeed Václav Havel. Some observers say Klaus presents the same threat to Topolánek that Miloš Zeman presents to Vladimír Špidla. This leads to two main theories. First, ODS could agree to support Petr Pithart in exchange for elevating Topolánek to the head of the Senate. It's not clear, though, what ČSSD would get in return, other than cutting out Zeman. Second, ODS could agree to support Jaroslav Bureš, in exchange for ambassadorships and judgeships. In either case, ODS would need an excuse to drop its support for Klaus. Perhaps a war in Iraq could provide it. ODS could argue that during times of crisis, all political parties must unite to find a compromise candidate and to avoid a prolonged period without a commander-in-chief.

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