Final Word from Monday, February 27, 2017

At a time when one liberal Western media outlet or NGO after another is comparing Andrej Babiš to Donald Trump and warning about the potentially ominous consequences (such as the New York Times and Freedom House), Babiš has formalized his power over ANO's candidate list. A statute change approved yesterday allows the ANO chairman, in extraordinary circumstances, to remove a candidate or otherwise make changes to the party's ticket. When asked about this, Babiš said that he always had the power but never used it. Really? We studied the statutes and found no article giving the chairman this authority. Why, after all, would a change be needed if the statutes already allowed for it? ANO Vice Chair Jaroslava Jermanová explained to TV Nova that Babiš was empowered to do this under other internal rules (yet they, of course, cannot override the statutes). By choosing to formalize his authority now, Babiš is apparently trying to capture the Trump wind that is at his back (to paraphrase the NYT). He is also testing Czechs to see how much autocracy they are willing to tolerate. [Czech Republic movement nonprofit organization nongovernmental]

Glossary of difficult words

media outlet - media company;

ominous - giving the worrying impression that something bad is going to happen;

ticket - a list of candidates put forward by a party in an election;

empowered - authorized;

to override - to use one's authority to reject or cancel (a decision, view, etc.).

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