Final Word from Thursday, November 18, 2004





Several readers said that before ODS goes door-to-door to canvass for enough votes to win an outright majority in Parliament, it needs to convince center-right voters that it's serious about fighting corruption. ODS Chair Mirek Topolánek offers ODS a fresh start after the tunneling '90s, but his vows to help in any true crackdown on corruption have rung hollow so far. For example, he said that as premier he'd immediately sack Senior State Prosecutor Marie Benešová because she indirectly accused big-city ODS bosses of cronyism. Topolánek later swallowed his words, but there are still concerns that if ODS ousts ČSSD, it will merely take up where Gross & Co. leave off at places like Český Telecom and ČEZ. One reader suggested that ODS will have to serve up a sacrificial lamb from among its municipal and regional bosses to show it means it sincerely. 1990s

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