In-depth Business Intelligence
of US $
is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)
Books on Poland
Update No: 123 - (31/08/07)
Poland edged closer to snap elections on August 9th, after President Lech
Kaczynski and opposition leader Donald Tusk agreed that a vote was 'inevitable'
in the coming months to help halt a government crisis. Markets have been unmoved
by the turmoil, judging an election is unlikely to deliver worse leadership and
economic policy for the EU's largest former communist state. Things could hardly
An early poll raises the prospect of a government led by the economically
liberal Civic Platform (PO) party, which leads in the polls and is favoured by
investors. 'President Lech Kaczynski and Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk both
consider that given the current situation, elections are inevitable in the
autumn,' presidential spokesman Michael Kaminski told a news conference.
'I can't imagine that anyone responsible in Poland could have an interest in
stringing-out this totally unbearable situation of infighting, aggression,
conflict, sackings and secrets,' AFP cited Tusk as saying. 'October is the
Poles last headed to the ballot box in 2005 and the next elections are not
formally due until 2009. But Tusk has said a snap vote is the 'only way to clear
the air', given the breakdown of the conservative-led coalition.
Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kacznyski, the president's identical twin, has seen his
three-party coalition disintegrate since he sacked deputy premier Andrzej Lepper
over corruption allegations, which Lepper denies and which have not been backed
up in public. Lepper's populist, rural-based Samoobrona (Self-Defence) movement
subsequently announced it was pulling out of the coalition, which is steered by
the Kaczynskis' conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party and also includes the
far-right League of Polish Families (LPR).
Both Kaczynskis have said several times in recent weeks that they support a snap
election, although they have wavered over whether to wait until early next year.
Their Law and Justice party trails the Civic Platform by around 10 percentage
points in opinion polls, but possess a party machine that made up as much as 20
points to win in 2005.
If the two leading parties agree to an election, they easily have enough votes
between them to wind up parliament.
But analysts remain wary of judging the tactics of the Kaczynskis, who have
threatened to force fresh elections on several occasions over the last 18
months, before backing down.
Poland hit by Watergate-style scandal, opposition alleges
A former Polish deputy prime minister and education minister in the cabinet of
right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski on August
28th accused him of using the secret services to eavesdrop on coalition
'Wiretapping colleagues, using these wiretaps for political goals, in my opinion
trying to arrange the detention or arrest of government colleagues - this is not
the kind of activity which can be included in the canon of any code of conduct,
aside from the gangsters' code,' Roman Giertych, leader of the right-wing League
of Polish Families (LPR) opposition party, told reporters in Warsaw.
'We have a Polish Watergate...,' Giertych said, referring to the 1970s political
scandal in the United States where Republican President Richard Nixon was
suspected of covering up spying on political rivals. The allegations ultimately
led to Nixon's resignation.
Giertych's high-impact accusation followed a closed session of parliament where
legislators heard the confidential testimony of Poland's ex-Interior Minister
Opposition parties are calling for special parliamentary commissions to be set
up to investigate allegations that Premier Kaczynski used the secret services,
the Justice Ministry and the Anti-Corruption Bureau to try to compromise
Kaczynski has denied any wrongdoing, but clearly does not want to see parliament
probe the damaging allegations.
Despite his PiS trailing the opposition liberal Civic Platform (PO) in recent
opinion polls, Kaczynski is pushing for the dissolution of parliament and a
fresh election as early as October 21.
The whirlwind of controversy comes as legislators are preparing to vote
September 7 on a motion to dissolve parliament, which if successful, will spark
Should the motion fail to pass, Kaczynski has vowed to tender his government's
resignation. Under the constitution, the prime minister's identical twin brother
would then have three attempts at creating a viable government before being
required to call a fresh election.