Final Word from Monday, May 13, 2002

President Václav Havel said last week that in 99% of cases, the designated Premier after the elections will be from the winning party. By saying this he was trying to defuse his explosive comments from a few days earlier, but some politicians and analysts aren't convinced that he's given up the idea of manipulating the process of forming the next government. There are several variations of what could happen if, as Havel no doubt fears, ODS wins the elections. Perhaps the most likely, if the numbers allow, is an effort by Havel to orchestrate a government of the Vladimír Špidla wing of ČSSD and the Coalition, perhaps even with a few opportunists from ODS. The only way to remove Václav Klaus from day-to-day politics, short of sending him to Brussels as the CR's first European commissioner in 2004, might be to force his party to break apart.


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