Final Word from Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Perhaps the "bomb" that everyone has been waiting for in this year's elections has already been dropped. No, we don't mean the resignation of Jan Kasl, but rather the sudden emergence of Vladimír Špidla as a real threat to Václav Klaus and as the undisputed leader of ČSSD. Špidla has finally stepped out of the shadows. He declared firmly in Právo that he, not Miloš Zeman, is the voice of ČSSD; he dismissed the idea of a Zeman presidency; he outperformed Klaus on a Sun. debate show on TV Prima; and he rejected the idea of going into a government with Klaus or anyone else from ODS. Špidla seems to be sending a message to voters: If you want to push both Klaus and Zeman out of politics once and for all, help me win these elections. If Špidla succeeds in getting the message across, he could guide ČSSD to a solid election victory.


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