Gloves off as PM challenges opposition leader to duel
We often speak about the cut and thrust of politics, of politicians battling it out and crossing swords, but on Thursday Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek literally threw down the gauntlet to his Civic Democrat rival Mirek Topolanek. Mr Paroubek chose a rather flamboyant gesture to challenge his rival to a series of TV debates.
One of them read out the letter, written in archaic Czech, to a Civic Democrat official. It said either Mr Topolanek appear on TV with Mr Paroubek, armed just with their manifestos, or the two men meet in a duel, armed with a weapon of Mr Topolanek's choice. And with that, the man threw down the gauntlet.
Debates between the two men are indeed planned: May 21 and May 31 on TV Prima, May 28 on Czech TV, and June 1 on TV Nova - one day before polling stations open for business. With the temperature rising as the elections draw closer, the debates should make highly entertaining viewing.