Final Word from Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Only four Czech presidential candidates have a realistic chance of making it into the second round - Jiří Dienstbier, Jan Fischer, Karel Schwarzenberg and Miloš Zeman. One of the two finalists will definitely be Zeman, in our opinion, which means that the other three candidates are competing for the coveted second spot in the final round. This second spot is Fischer's to lose. He has been the overall favorite until recently, but his ratings will fall with every passing week as voters get to know him. His best strategy is to stay as much as possible out of the limelight between now and the balloting. For this reason, it is most in his interest for the first round to go ahead as scheduled on Jan. 11-12. Zeman doesn't need to concern himself with when the elections take place (unless of course they are canceled outright), because his support is stable. Dienstbier and Schwarzenberg, on the other hand, stand to benefit if the elections are postponed. One or the other could very possibly usurp Fischer's "right" to a final showdown with Zeman.[Czech Republic president]

Glossary of difficult words

to covet - to yearn to possess or to have something;

his to lose - his position is so strong that only his own failed performance can cause him to lose;

limelight - the public spotlight; the center of media attention;

outright - completely;

to usurp - to take the place of someone (such as in a position of power);

showdown - a final test or contest intended to settle a dispute.

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