Final Word from Monday, January 14, 2013

Chief Justice Pavel Rychetský of the Constitutional Court told TV Prima's Partie yesterday that money decided the first round of the presidential elections. This has indeed been the conventional wisdom of the direct elections, but the numbers don't entirely support the hypothesis. If money were the only thing, the second round in two weeks would be a face-off between Karel Schwarzenberg (who spent Kč 26m, according to MFD) and Jan Fischer (who reported expenditures on his website of Kč 21m). Miloš Zeman, having spent only Kč 13m, would be heading back to Vysočina if money were the key to the Castle, but it is actually Fischer who was sent packing. Jiří Dienstbier, with spending of Kč 16m, also topped Zeman. There are of course many questions about the reliability of these spending figures, and they will never be fully answered. But one thing already seems clear to us, if not to Rychetský: Money didn't turn any of the candidates into favorites; instead, the four candidates with the biggest chances attracted the most money.[Czech Republic runoff FTV]

Glossary of difficult words

Partie - Rychetský's comment came during the second minute of the show;

conventional wisdom - an explanation that is generally accepted to be true but that is not necessarily proven in practice;

face-off - a direct confrontation between two people or groups;

to send someone packing - to make someone leave in an abrupt or preemptory way.


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