Final Word from Tuesday, January 23, 2018



As analysts debate whether the power pact between Miloš Zeman and Andrej Babiš is on its last legs, Zeman is thundering ahead with what looks like a well-oiled plan for the final stretch of the presidential race. On Sun. he told TV Nova that he will give the second chance to form a government to Andrej Babiš and prefers a coalition of ANO+ČSSD, with the support of either SPD or KSČM, or both. Take a moment to digest that sentence, and then add up the numbers. In one sentence Zeman included 55.31% of the voters in the parliamentary elections, which would bring him a landslide victory this weekend if he could convert them into second-round support. One day later he told TV Barrandov that he will give Babiš the second attempt, even if Jiří Drahoš wins the elections. This seals in these ANO-ČSSD-SPD-KSČM voters and leaves Drahoš to pick up the scraps. Zeman will likely stress tonight on TV Prima that Drahoš's base is concentrated around Miroslav Kalousek, Zdeněk Bakala and Petr Fiala. A shared dislike for these three figures, and a few more, is what keeps the power pact together. [Czech Republic Communist Party television debates]

Glossary of difficult words

on one's last legs - to be very tired or near death;

to thunder (ahead) - to make or proceed with a loud resounding noise like thunder;

well-oiled - well thought-out; running smoothly;

to digest - to understand or assimilate (information) by a period of reflection;

landslide - an overwhelming majority of votes for one party or candidate in an election;

to seal in - to enclose in such as way to prevent escape;

scrap - a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used;

(political) base - main source of support.

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