Final Word from Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Parliament's decision yesterday to dissolve itself will usher in early elections, but it will also leave unanswered a couple of salient questions about Czech parliamentary democracy. When ČSSD and TOP 09 first announced their plans to support early elections, Miloš Zeman said that he had "no reason to unnecessarily postpone the formal dissolution of Parliament." Does this mean that if he did have a reason, he might unnecessarily postpone performing a constitutional duty, such as dissolving Parliament or appointing a new government? We don't know. Nor do we know how far Europe was willing to allow Zeman to go to prevent a (supposed) parliamentary majority from forming a government. Zeman boasted to the Communist Party's Haló noviny last week that he actively sought to prevent the old coalition from returning under a new prime minister. Intervention by the EU was the last great hope of some opponents of Zeman's practices, but early elections have given Zeman the "autocrat" a new lease on life in this respect. [Czech Republic snap president KSČM newspaper Petr Nečas Miroslava Němcová Miroslav Kalousek]

Glossary of difficult words

new lease on life - an opportunity to improve one's circumstances or outlook;

to usher in - to mark the start of; to set the scene for;

salient - important, major.


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