Final Word from Friday, November 1, 2002

The second round of Senate elections is this weekend, and the party of Premier Vladimír Špidla has decided to support the Communists over arch rival ODS in voting districts where ČSSD has no candidate. Špidla is trying to prevent ODS from gaining enough seats in the Senate to block the presidential elections in the two houses of Parliament. The greater threat to Špidla, though, is from within his own party. Some ČSSD party members, such as Jaroslav Foldyna, are squarely behind Miloš Zeman. Špidla and KDU-ČSL Chair Cyril Svoboda are bluffing when they say that Otakar Motejl could be a compromise presidential candidate in the parliamentary vote. They must know that if supporters of Zeman and Václav Klaus decide to block the vote in Parliament by abstaining, and thereby to force direct elections, there is very little anyone can do about it.


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