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Monday, October 10, 2005

If you wanted to know what your new government will look like, you'll just have to wait


Polish center-right parties in talks to form a government said on Sunday they will not make final decisions on their coalition before a presidential election run-off on October 23 which pits their leaders against each other.

Pro-business moderate Donald Tusk came first in Sunday's election ahead of conservative Lech Kaczynski but failed to gain the 50 percent of votes needed to avoid a second round of voting in two weeks.

In the September 25 general election, it was the conservative Law and Justice that narrowly beat Tusk's Civic Platform, with ensuing cabinet-building talks quickly engulfed by the presidential race.

"I will present the make-up of the new government on October 24 at the earliest," Law and Justice's candidate for prime minister, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, told reporters.

He added that he could present some of his government's strategic goals and a road-map for talks as early as Monday.

Jan Rokita, Civic Platform's choice for deputy prime minister, said that in his view talks over the new government's policy would prove crucial, not the tone of the campaign.

"Over the next two weeks Poland will not have a government. Negotiations will not be completed during this election campaign," Rokita told reporters.

"The fate of this cabinet depends on how far these parties will go to reach a compromise -- I am more worried about differences in programs than about the presidential campaign."

Law and Justice is more skeptical about economic reforms and seeks to protect the welfare state, while the Civic Platform seeks to radically cut taxes to revitalize the economy.


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