Final Word from Monday, January 20, 2003

Lawmakers failed in the first presidential election to vote anybody in, but commentators agree that they did vote somebody out. Vladimír Špidla failed to influence the results of the balloting, and his authority as ČSSD chair and premier is crumbling. Nearly the full blame, for example, has been put on him for the fiasco named Jaroslav Bureš, although Bureš was ČSSD Vice Chair Stanislav Gross's candidate. To save himself, Špidla will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Václav Klaus would be the lesser of the two evils for him in the next election, but Špidla proved in the first election that he's incapable of reaching a basic political agreement. If neither Klaus nor Miloš Zeman wins the second election on Fri., Špidla's days will be prolonged. But speculation about the next ČSSD chair and premier (Gross, Zdeněk Škromach, Richard Falbr?) is multiplying like mushrooms.


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