Final Word from Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Asked last night if he'd run in direct presidential elections if legislation allowed it, Václav Klaus told TV Nova that he doesn't think legislation will allow it or at least that he doesn't see anything leading in this direction. Some people will take this as a definitive No. In reality, the only absolute certainty in terms of a third term is that the Constitution doesn't allow it under the current system of indirect elections in Parliament. However, we're willing to predict that if a popular vote is approved, a group of pro-Klaus lawmakers will file a constitutional challenge to Article 57 of the Constitution. They could claim that Klaus's human rights are being violated and that if Václav Havel was allowed to run for a third term, Klaus should be able to also. A more legalistic argument could be that the amendment to the presidential voting system changes the definition of "elected." Being "chosen" by the people is qualitatively different from being indirectly "elected" by lawmakers, they could argue, and they might have a valid point.

Glossary of difficult words

the chosen one - someone chosen (by the people); Jesus Christ;

Article 57 - it states that "Nobody may be elected President of the Republic more than twice in succession.";

legalistic - excessive adherence to law or formula;

qualitatively - in a way that relates to the quality of something rather than to its quantity.


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