Final Word from Monday, July 11, 2011

When Pres. Václav Klaus refused in April to sack three of VV's ministers until PMPetr Nečas submitted a plan for the continued governance of the country, some criticssaid that he was acting unconstitutionally. The Constitution states that the president"shall dismiss cabinet members, if the prime minister so proposes." However, itsets no specific time limit, which supporters of Klaus cited in arguing that he actedproperly. The latest dispute is different, because Klaus stated up front that he doesnot intend to sign two new laws, although the Constitution requires that "adoptedlaws shall be signed by the speaker, the president and the PM." By refusing to sign,critics say, Klaus isn't merely pushing the envelope but is actually overstepping thebounds. It's not serious enough to constitute treason, according to lawyer Aleš Gerloch.But it does seem serious enough to amount to contempt of the Constitution.

Glossary of difficult words

contempt - the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful of the lawful operation of a legal body;

to fire - to dismiss or remove from a position;

up front - in advance;

to push the envelope - to approach or extend the limits of what is possible.


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