Final Word from Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Several readers questioned Ivan Gabal's figures on the lack of support in Slovak for the division of Czechoslovakia, and others said that pointing fingers 10 years later is a waste of time anyway. So why did we devote space to it? Because the split of the federation is playing a big role in the election of the next Czech president. Josef Zieleniec, for example, is sometimes mentioned as a possible candidate if direct elections are held. Václav "nation-breaker" Klaus was the front-runner in recent presidential polls. And Petr Pithart, another key figure in the split, is seeing his wishy-washy performance 10 years ago used against him now. The positioning for and against Pithart will likely accelerate. He may be seen as indecisive, but he's also emerging - by process of elimination - as the best hope for leading the CR into a post-Havel, Václav post-Klaus, Miloš post-Zeman, Vladimír post-Železný era.


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