'Screening law' extended, but should former Communists be kept out of public office?
The Czech word 'lustrace', 'lustration' in English, comes from the Latin 'lustrare', and means 'to shed light on' or 'to illuminate.''Lustration' in the Czech Republic means only one thing: the screening of public servants to exclude former high-ranking Communists: senior Party officials, members of the People's Militia, and agents of the hated secret police. The 'screening law' was due to expire at the end of this year, but on Wednesday the right-wing opposition managed to extend it, in spite of opposition from the ruling Social Democrats and the Communist Party. Across the border in Poland, a former high-ranking Communist was recently re-elected as president. So is the Czech law, as the left claims, immoral and unworkable? A question Rob Cameron put to the leading political analyst Jiri Pehe: