Final Word from Monday, November 6, 2017

Ex-PM Mirek Topolánek announced his candidacy for Czech president yesterday, and Czech Television gave him two-and-half minutes in its main evening news program. He used the time to accuse Miloš Zeman and Andrej Babiš of unconstitutional behavior in the government-building process and to say that he can be the strong political candidate that is missing in the presidential race so far. Despite its lengthy report, Czech TV failed to provide the single most important piece of information about Topolánek: That he works for Daniel Křetínský's EPH energy and media conglomerate. It has an uncertain ownership structure and got rich off its ties to ČEZ. Topolánek is a political candidate only in the sense that he's a former politician. Otherwise, he's the business candidate of EPH and ČEZ. One way to interpret this latest development is that Jiří Drahoš has been a big disappointment to the economic forces that will now be gathering around Topolánek. [Czech Republic holding]

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