Final Word from Thursday, July 29, 2004

In the 1962 political thriller "The Manchurian Candidate," Communist agents posing as McCarthy-like conservatives plot to kill a presidential candidate so that their own Manchurian candidate can take over the White House. It's a biting satire that takes aim at both the Left and the Right. An outsider looking into Czech politics today might think he's watching a B remake. KDU-ČSL Chair Miroslav Kalousek shot down EU Commissioner Pavel Telička because of his Communist past, but now Designated Premier Stanislav Gross wants to install the mandarin diplomat as foreign minister. If Kalousek agreed to this as a way to dispense with Cyril Svoboda, he'd be helping an ex-Communist careerist (to use Kalousek's words) into one of the CR's top posts. Gross is making a risky power play. If the Czech remake stuck to the original film, he'd end up getting shot.


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