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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Cimoszewicz corruption watch

Radio Polonia:
The parliamentary committee investigating the privatisation of Poland's oil giant Orlen has decided to notify the Prosecutor General that parliamentary speaker and presidential candidate Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz made a false testimony in his personal assets statement.

The committee was informed by Cimoszewicz's former assistant Anna Jarucka that the speaker had omitted this information in his statement, even though she claims that she did remind him of this.

Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz said he did not sign a document presented to the committee by his former assistant and claimed that it bore a facsimile of his signature. According to the copy of the document, Cimoszewicz authorised Jarucka to change his personal assets statement.

Controversy around Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Left Alliance continues. He has notified the Prosecutor General that his former assistant Anna Jarocka forged documents and hence committed a crime.

He also called a press conference during which again he denied all allegations that he made a false testimony in his personal assets statement.

'It is not my signature this is just a stamp which has been put under this document. I could as well present to you a blank piece of paper which would contain identical signature scanned and put there which could allegedly be construed as my signature,' said Cimoszewicz.

Attacking credibility of candidates from oposite camps may seem nothing unusual when presidential seat is at stake but Poland's president Aleksander Kwasniewski expressed deep concern over the methods of conducting electoral campaigns in this country.

'It is all aimed at thwarting the chances of one of the candidates who has a lot to offer and who is involved in an affair that is even difficult to follow. I deeply disapprove of such situations which make me feel embarassed. I am also angry that the electoral campaign which should focus on many other important issues is full of such methods of getting at other candidates instead.'

However, many analysts looking at recent developments express no surprise saying that the dirty campaign has begun in Poland.

It seems that the presidential race is gaining momentum in this country which is also reflected in opinion polls expressing unstable moods of the Polish society going to vote in parliamentary elections in September and presidential ones in October.

Currently, the liberal Citizens Platform tops popularity polls with 23% of Poles ready to vote for it according to the recent CBOS survey the centre-right Law and Justice is placed second with 22 percent support and the militant farmers Self-Defence party is backed by 16 percent of those surveyed. Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz's ruling Democratic Left Alliance is supported only by 8 percent of the electorate.

The good news is that fifty eight percent of Poles intend to go to the polling stations in the fall, which by Polish standards will be a good turnout.


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