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Poland has minority government

Is this a good thing?....


"President Lech Kaczyński has dismissed ministers from the League of Polish Families (LPR) and Self-defense (Samoobrona) and the Law and Justice party will now operate as a minority government in parliament until a general election is called.

The government has replaced the dismissed ministers with politicians affiliated with Law and Justice (PiS).

LPR leader Roman Giertych has lost the post of Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Rafał Wiecheckialso also from LPR, is no longer Minister of Maritime Economy.

Andrzej Aumiller from Self-defense was dismissed as Minister of Construction and Anna Kalata as Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

The President appointed a has PiS senator Ryszard Legutko as Minister of National Education, the former Vice-Minister of Finance Mirosław Barszcz as Minister of Construction, Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Regional Development Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska as Minister of Labour and Social Policy and Marek Gróbarczyk as Minister of Maritime Economy.

Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński said this morning that the new ministers are ‘competent and experienced’.

The Prime Minister announced that the new minister of construction will present a new housing plan before the elections. He also wished that the new ministers contributed to the government performing its functions after the elections as well.

Law and Justice will now work as a minority government and will attempt to get cross party support for vital bills to passed through parliament until an election date is set, probably some time in October.

The coalition government has been in almost constant turmoil since it was set up one year ago. The latest crisis occurred last month when the now ex-vice PM and agricultural minister Andrzej Lepper was dismissed for an alleged involvement in a land corruption deal.

Until the current crisis occured, the next Polish general election was scheduled constitutionally for 2009. "

Re: Poland has minority government

A better article from the Guardian:

Poland on election footing as coalition collapses

Poland faces an early general election this autumn after the president today sacked four ministers, ending the conservative coalition that has led the country for 15 months.
The sacked ministers were replaced with members or allies of the Law and Justice party (PiS), led by the president, Lech Kaczynski, and his twin brother, Jaroslaw, who is the prime minister.

With the government now lacking a majority in parliament, political commentators expect that it will have to call an election two years early, possibly on October 21.

The prime minister and the president stood side by side at Warsaw's Belvedere palace today to announce they were dismissing all four cabinet ministers belonging to the right-wing League of Polish Families and the agrarian Self-defence party.
Jaroslaw Kaczynsk said: "Today's changes stem from a change in the political situation, from the end of the coalition's work. There is going to be a shortened term and elections not far off."

An early election would be risky for the Law and Justice party as opinion polls suggest it is trailing the main opposition party, Civic Platform.

Should Law and Justice lose, it would bring to an end the unique situation of identical twins holding the country's two most powerful jobs.

The end of the conservative coalition government could also affect several major political challenges facing the country.

These include a decision on whether or not to host a US missile defence base, a plan that has outraged Poland's former Soviet ally Russia.

The Kaczynskis were elected on the promise to fight corruption and remove ex-communists from influential positions. They still enjoy the support of a core of rural, conservative voters, but have drawn criticism from Poles seeking closer ties to the European Union.

Law and Justice has clashed with Brussels on a range of issues in which Warsaw felt its sovereignty was threatened - including a bank takeover, voting rights within the EU and environmental protection.

PiS - will get elected again ...

Re: Poland has minority government

Or from the New York Times:

Poland to Have Elections 2 Years Early

Seeking to end months of political turmoil, Polish officials confirmed Sunday that the government would hold elections by November, two years ahead of schedule.

The vote might open the way for a coalition government led by the opposition Civic Platform, a center-right party that has advocated better relations with Germany and the European Union, analysts said Sunday.

With less than 10 weeks to campaign, the political parties will be seeking support from the center ground, particularly from young people who, according to opinion polls, have become disillusioned with a swing to the far right and nationalist end of the political spectrum.

Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s decision to hold an early vote came after months of disagreements with his two small, radical coalition partners, the populist Self-Defense Party and the nationalist League of Polish Families.

As a price for supporting Mr. Kaczynski, the two parties had made demands that included the introduction of the death penalty, a complete ban on abortion and more independence from the European Union.

Mr. Kaczynski, whose Law and Justice Party narrowly won the last elections, in October 2005, and whose identical twin brother, Lech, is president, has also clashed with his ministers and senior advisers. Several had criticized the prime minister over accusations that he used prosecutors and the judiciary for surveillance in his campaign to stamp out corruption.

But with his government lacking a parliamentary majority, Mr. Kaczynski said he saw no alternative to holding early elections.

“I see no possibility of supporting a minority government, and we do not want to have the kind of government we have had recently,” he said Saturday at a news conference in Warsaw.

Mr. Kaczynski told Roman Giertych, the leader of the League of Polish Families, on Saturday that he was breaking up the coalition and that ministers from his party and Self-Defense would be dismissed on Monday. In fact, Mr. Kaczynski had already fired Andrzej Lepper, the leader of Self-Defense, from the posts of deputy prime minister and minister of agriculture because of corruption charges.

The opposition Civic Platform, which narrowly lost the 2005 election, said Sunday that it was ready for the campaign. The latest opinion polls suggest that the party, led by Donald Tusk, would win 33 percent of the vote and that Law and Justice would receive about 23 percent. Even at that, Civic Platform would require a partner to establish a stable government.

Civic Platform is, however, still divided over several policy issues.

Officials said the party still had to agree on what kind of economic policy to pursue, on how to improve its relations with the European Union and Germany and on the relationship it wanted with Russia.

The election will also test the new Left and Democrats — a loose gathering of center-left parties — and the Democratic Left Alliance, the successor to the former Communist Party. The Left and Democrats party is led by a former president, Aleksander Kwasniewski, who is considered one of the few politicians capable of rebuilding the left.

However, Mr. Kwasniewski could face an uphill struggle in convincing the public that the former Communists have credibility. They had a reputation for corruption, cronyism and fraud while governing until 2005 and were defeated in the 2005 election. Significantly, the leaders of the Left and Democrats have promised to fight corruption as part of their platform.

Mr. Kaczynski’s Law and Justice and the opposition Democratic Left Alliance were recently questioned by the State Electoral Commission about accusations that they had accepted donations from foreigners, a violation of electoral law. Mr. Kaczynski quickly promised to return any questionable donations, but the investigation caused some panic inside the party.

“If Law and Justice has broken the electoral law, it could be deprived of state subsidies,” noted Janusz Onyszkiewicz, leader of the opposition Democratic Party, which is part of the Left and Democrats movement.