Final Word from Monday, November 4, 2013

Miloš Zeman, who "tripped on a rug" early Wed. morning, hasn't been seen in public for nearly a week. The longer he waits to make an appearance, the more the public and media will speculate about the true state of his health. In today's issue, Týden already mentioned the possibility of a stroke. Lawyers will soon begin debating the meaning of Para. 66 of the Constitution, which requires the House and Senate to vote before the powers of the president may pass to the PM, the speaker of the House and the Senate president. If the Czech president were incapacitated, would the House have to wait until it convened on Nov. 25 to take such a vote? Could a new PM be appointed, or would we have to wait for the president to fully recover or for a new president to be elected? Zeman needs to show proof of life. Otherwise, the name Leonid Brezhnev will reenter the active vocabulary. He rarely appeared in public in his final year. [Czech Republic Soviet Union prime minister death]

Glossary of difficult words

proof of life - a phrase commonly used to indicate proof that a kidnap victim is still alive;

stroke - a sudden disabling attack or loss of consciousness caused by an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain, esp. through thrombosis;

incapacitated - unable to function in a normal way;

to convene - to assemble or cause to assemble for a common purpose.

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