Final Word from Monday, June 17, 2002

Final election results show that a ČSSD-Coalition government isn't a certainty, but it remains the most likely outcome. Such a cabinet would be potentially unstable, with 101 seats in Parliament (two of which belong to independents), but Špidla played down the risks of a weak majority yesterday. Most important, he said, is having a strong agenda that attracts wide support. His strategy in the last two weeks of the campaign was nearly beyond reproach, and the next few weeks should give an indication of how strategic he'll be as premier. For example, he could conceivably strengthen his mandate by recruiting a few young MPs from ODS to serve in key posts in his administration or Parliament. Or, he could offer the Communists some posts in return for help in passing individual laws. Špidla could even offer Klaus the top job in Parliament again.


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