Final Word from Thursday, May 10, 2007

With the presidential elections eight months away, it's in Václav Klaus's interest for there to be harmony on the government level but disarray on the presidential campaign trail. The worst outcome for him would be a coalition that falls apart around election time combined with the rise of a consensus candidate who uses the instability to create an anybody-but-Klaus atmosphere. This horror scenario explains not only Klaus's recent efforts to keep in power a government he never wanted, but also his own preemptive reelection announcement. By declaring his intentions before his opponents were able to come up with a candidate, he made his enemies look hopelessly amateur. Except for perhaps Jiří Dienstbier, who can't be dismissed lightly, the other names mentioned (Illnerová, Parkanová, Vesecká, Wilhelm) are thoroughly unelectable. So far, Klaus is doing a fine balancing act.[Czech Republic Helena Vlasta Renáta Ivan]


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