Final Word from Monday, May 20, 2002

Is Miloš Zeman intentionally helping Václav Klaus win the elections? KDU Chair Cyril Svoboda said in Lidové noviny that he is. Svoboda says Zeman stands a better chance of maintaining influence for himself and his cronies after the elections if Klaus is in power than if the next premier is ČSSD Chair Vladimír Špidla. Both Špidla and ČSSD Vice Chair Stanislav Gross have shown an unwillingness to work with Klaus in the next cabinet. A strong election showing by ČSSD would consolidate their position within the party. Svoboda told Právo that Zeman is now running a one-man show. Alexandr Mitrofanov of Právo noted last week that Zeman is going out of his way to criticize Špidla for such things as the high unemployment rate. For Zeman to go against his own party like this, Mitrofanov said, he must have something loose upstairs.


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