Final Word from Thursday, October 10, 2013

Václav Klaus could have literally killed someone as president but could never be held criminally liable for it. Such was his presidential immunity. He has enjoyed an unwritten immunity of a lesser sort from ODS with regard to the Jan. 1 amnesty. Petr Nečas, as PM at the time, set the tone by co-signing the measure. ODS then held together in defeating a no-confidence vote called as a result of the amnesty. Only on rare occasions, such as when Jiří Pospíšil blamed Přemysl Sobotka's washout in the presidential election partly on it, did someone from ODS criticize the amnesty. Now, 10 months later, Acting ODS Chair Martin Kuba has lifted Klaus's immunity. Kuba told Právo that it was unfair of Klaus to criticize ODS given the way it had held its tongue about some very controversial parts of the amnesty. We can now expect one ODS member after another to say how he or she was always appalled by the amnesty. [Czech Republic prime minister remission abolition]

Glossary of difficult words

presidential immunity - Article 65, Par. 3, of the Czech Constitution, as valid under Klaus's presidency, stated that "Criminal prosecution for criminal acts perpetrated during the term of office of the president of the Republic is forever precluded." (The Constitution has since been amended to eliminate lifetime immunity for criminal acts.);

liable - responsible by law; legally answerable;

washout - a total failure or disappointment;

appalled - shocked, dismayed, horrified.


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