Final Word from Monday, August 14, 2017

Czech democracy has made great strides over the past 28 years, but in which direction? The first post-1989 Czech prime minister, Petr Pithart, never had a financial scandal in his entire political career. Of the next 10 Czech PMs, three left office as the result of a financial scandal, including Pithart's direct successor, Václav Klaus. The other two were Stanislav Gross and Petr Nečas. Unlike Bohuslav Sobotka, though, none of these three had a financial scandal hanging over him before he took office. Sobotka's election was in this respect a landmark in Czech democracy. The OKD scandal still plagues him and will be on the front pages of newspapers again in the first week of Sept. Andrej Babiš will now apparently top even Sobotka. Babiš is in line to become the first Czech PM to take office with a criminal charge already filed against him. At this rate of democratic development, Czechs should probably expect the ex-convict Andrej Babiš to be elected as their PM in 2021. [Czech Republic head]

Glossary of difficult words

stride - (usu. strides) a step or stage in progress towards an aim;

landmark - an event or discovery marking an important stage or turning point in something;

to plague - to cause continual trouble or distress to.

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