Final Word from Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Of all the candidates for Czech president, only Karel Schwarzenberg has enjoyed presidential immunity without ever being elected president. Under the Constitution, the president is not responsible for his actions, and in certain cases, such as amnesty, the cabinet is instead responsible for what the head of state does. It's been the same with Schwarzenberg. He's been granted a sort of presidential immunity by the populace for whatever he does as vice PM, foreign minister or TOP 09 chairman. His cabinet, ministry and party are held responsible for their missteps, but he isn't. Some pundits say this is a brilliant achievement of the Schwarzenberg campaign, but in reality the Prince's ability to absolve himself of responsibility has been with him all of his political career. Regardless of whether someone endorses Schwarzenberg or not, it's legitimate to ask how he will act once he has true presidential immunity.[Czech Republic accountability second round elections]

Glossary of difficult words

misstep - a clumsy or badly judged step;

pundit - an expert in a particular subject or field who is frequently called on to give opinion about something to the public;

to absolve someone of - to set or declare someone free from blame, guilt or responsibility;

to endorse - to declare one's public approval of or support for.


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