Final Word from Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An argument can easily be made for not wanting someone like Karel Srp on the Ethics Commission charged with judging the bona fides of people seeking to be recognized as members of the anti-Communist resistance. There are legitimate doubts about Srp's StB ties. However, PM Bohuslav Sobotka refused to countersign the appointment by Pres. Miloš Zeman on the grounds that Srp didn't meet the legal requirements. The law states that the behavior of Commission members during the period of non-freedom cannot be a reason to doubt their independence and impartiality on the Commission. Sobotka didn't have to give a legal reason, but he did, and it requires us to assume a correlation between Srp's past membership in an association of people and his future behavior. This reopens a can of worms. But perhaps that's the point. Is Sobotka cleverly using Srp to raise the question of whether Andrej Babiš has the moral integrity to be the next PM? [Czech Republic Jazz Section dissident secret police prime minister]

Glossary of difficult words

bona fides - a person's honesty and sincerity of intention;

correlation - a mutual relationship or connection between two or more things;

to open a can of worms - to create a situation that will cause trouble or be unpleasant.

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