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Friday, May 06, 2005

Polish Lawmakers Reject Parliament's Dissolution


May 5 (Bloomberg) -- Poland's ruling Democratic Left Alliance, whose popularity has plummeted since taking the country into the European Union last year, [editor's note: It was plummetting long before that] rebuffed a move by Prime Minister Marek Belka and opposition parties to dissolve parliament and force early elections.

Polish lawmakers rejected the motion in a 253-172 vote in Warsaw. Opposition needed 307 votes in the 460-seat chamber to succeed. Belka, who promised to stay in office a year when named premier last May, pledged to step down even if the vote failed.
Belka said he supportedthe dissolution of parliament as it will help him keep a promise made when he was named premier on May 2, 2004, to spend only a year in office.

Belka also said he plans to join a new party, the Democratic Party, co-founded by former Economy Minister Jerzy Hausner, who quit the Democratic Left Alliance in February. Belka plans to take part in the new party's first congress on May 8.

If Belka makes good on his intention to resign, it must be approved by President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who asked Belka on April 29 to remain in place until the autumn and has said he will not accept his resignation.

The government "is limited only to administrative tasks as it has neither time nor support to pursue any reforms,'' said Marcin Mroz, a currency strategist at Societe Generale SA in Warsaw. "We unfortunately don't have enough solid information about any economic agenda from the next government.''

The most popular opposition parties, Citizens' Platform and Law and Order [Law and Justice], which favored June elections, three months ahead of schedule, joined the Polish Social Democracy and the Polish Family League [League of Polish Families] in pushing for dissolution.

"You'll still have four months to fight for your privileges, four months to fight for your own interests,'' Donald Tusk, leader of the Citizens Platform told Alliance lawmakers in a debate before the vote.

The Alliance will campaign before September elections to lower the jobless rate, the EU's highest, help farmers and pensioners get more social benefits and abandon more than half the planned spending cuts that were designed to allow the nation to adopt the euro in 2009, said party leader Krzysztof Janik in today's debate.

"Unemployment is gradually falling and there are still many important things this parliament can do,'' said Janik. "There really was no rational reason to shorten the term.''

[Except that the whole country wants to get around to building a proper market economy and government after your party's imbecilic mismanagement...]

The Alliance, which had 51 percent support in polls when it took office in 2001 is now favored by between 3 percent and 5 percent of voters, according to surveys conducted by the four largest Polish polling centers in April. Its coalition partner, the Labor Union, has the support of 1 percent and probably will drop out of parliament.

Law and Jusice (PiS) has taken the lead in the polls, overtaking Civic Platform (PO). Both are center right parties. PO is more socially liberal, whereas PiS is more likely to continue governmental meddling in the economy - it favors privatization less than PO.


Blogger Gustav said...

The innaccuracies in this article are frightening. It implies EU membership caused dissatisfaction with the government (when in reality it was corruption), it got one of the party's names plain wrong (and twisted others), and it goes on to argue that PO is still winning. Do they just not care enough to do the research, or is it that hard to find English-language news sites in Polish? Sheesh. Read the Economist's Country Report at least.

5/06/2005 12:47:00 AM  

Blogger Gustav said...

Kwasniewski will not accept Belka's resignation until it is mathematically impossible to hold elections in the autumn. Chances of a triple-super election in September are high. --President, Parliament, EU Constitution.

5/06/2005 12:53:00 AM  

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