Final Word from Wednesday, October 13, 2004





KDU-ČSL has taken systematic steps over the years to eliminate its small political rivals, first ODA and now US-DEU, in an effort to become the undisputed kingmaker in Czech politics. Anyone who wanted to form a government would have to deal with it, the theory went. Now, though, the latest Factum Invenio poll shows that KDU's rating has barely budged, whereas the three major parties have tightened their grip. KDU is so weak without its smaller rivals that no one can use it to form a government, the poll suggests. (Other polls are less definitive.) To survive, KDU Chair Miroslav Kalousek might ironically need to help another small party, such as Jan Kasl's ED, sneak into Parliament and dilute ODS's and ČSSD's power. Otherwise ODS and ČSSD - either with or without the Communists - could strike a deal and leave Kalousek to look for a new job.

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