Final Word from Monday, February 12, 2018

Even Miloš Zeman's adversaries admit he's a consummate politician, yet they often forget this when they analyze his political tricks and maneuvers. In Parliament on Jan. 10, Zeman said that he would appoint Andrej Babiš a second time as PM once Babiš demonstrated that he had at least 101 guaranteed votes. There was no mention of "101 signatures," and the difference to a consummate politician is huge. In subsequent interviews, Zeman made it clear that he wanted a minority cabinet of ANO+ČSSD, with KSČM leaving the chamber. That could be a guaranteed 93+15 votes, but not 101 signatures. Now Zeman's adversaries are up in arms because he is "no longer requiring 101 signatures." Some are calling it a step toward a constitutional coup. The bigger issue, which they are too ruffled to see, is that Zeman has stopped talking about an ANO+ČSSD coalition and is now pushing a minority ANO government of experts. Zeman is again two steps ahead of his adversaries. [Czech Republic putsch takeover Communists Communist Party caretaker technocratic]

Glossary of difficult words

to leave someone in the lurch - to leave an associate or friend abruptly and without assistance or support when he or she is in a difficult situation;

consummate - showing great skill and flair;

to be up in arms - to protest vigorously about something;

to ruffle - to disconcert or upset the composure of (someone);

to push (something) - to support or back (a proposal, person or project).

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