Final Word from Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Yesterday's meeting at the Castle between Interior Min. Milan Chovanec and Pres. Miloš Zeman increases the likelihood that Foreign Min. Lubomír Zaorálek will replace Chovanec in March as first deputy vice chair of ČSSD. Chovanec, with his CTHH anti-disinformation unit and his sharp criticism of the rapprochement between Zeman and Andrej Babiš, is moving away from Zeman, and Zeman is making this clear. Zaorálek, with his staunch defense of the one-China policy and his apparent rethink about Donald Trump and possibly Russia, is moving in the opposite direction and is becoming a reliable bridge between ČSSD and the Castle. ČSSD Chair Bohuslav Sobotka would also secretly welcome a jettison of the growing Chovanec ballast, or at least that is what Petr Kolář of Týden indicated in early Dec. Chovanec has been looking out for No. 1 by playing all sides, but he stepped on too many toes in the process, and his game is nearly up. [Czech Republic Minister president magazine anti-terrorism hybrid threats]

Glossary of difficult words

someone's number is up - the time has come when someone is doomed to die or suffer some other disaster or setback;

rapprochement - (especially in international affairs) an establishment or resumption of harmonious relations;

staunch - very loyal and committed in attitude;

rethink - a reassessment, esp. one that results in changes being made;

jettison - the action of abandoning or discarding (someone or something that is no longer wanted);

ballast - heavy material, such as gravel, sand, or iron, placed in the bilge of a ship to ensure stability;

to look out for No. 1 - to do what one considers best for oneself, without regard for others;

someone's game is up - someone's secret activities or plans have been discovered and cannot continue.

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