Polish opposition demands snap elections over bribery claims

Artykuły


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"


Daniel McLaughlin
Wednesday September 27, 2006
The Guardian

Poland's government is in crisis today after a key architect of its promised "moral revolution" was accused of trying to bribe politicians to support the ruling party.
Opposition leaders demanded snap elections and the resignation of the prime minister, after his closest aide Adam Lipinski was caught on a hidden camera appearing to ask a member of the Self Defence party what she wanted in return for backing the government.
"Secretary of state in the agriculture ministry, yes? You know, that's not a problem, we have plenty of available posts," Mr Lipinski told Renata Beger, who secretly filmed his attempts to persuade her to support the crumbling government coalition.
Ms Beger also asked how the ruling conservatives could help politicians who might be fined for leaving Self Defence, which quit the government last week amid a row over budget cuts and plans to send Polish troops to Afghanistan.
"Yes, we were thinking of creating some kind of fund," Mr Lipinski told Ms Beger, who covertly filmed the meetings in collaboration with the TVN television channel.
The footage scuppered talks today between the government and independent MPs, members of the Peasants' party and potential defectors from Self Defence, whose support would restore its parliamentary majority.
"There is absolutely no possibility of coalition talks now," said senior Peasants' party official Jaroslaw Kalinowski. "This is a clear case of corruption. The point now is to find a way out of this situation, and there is the prospect of early elections."
Mr Lipinski was unrepentant, however. "This is obvious and normal practice used by governments around the world," he said of his negotiations with Ms Beger. "This has nothing to do with political corruption."
The Law and Justice party narrowly won last September's election on a promise to purge Poland's corruption-riddled politics and to redistribute wealth.
But its populist coalition government has been buffeted by internal rows and by domestic and international criticism of the pugnacious prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and his identical twin, Lech, who is Poland's president.
The main Civic Platform opposition party demanded new elections and the immediate resignation of the prime minister.
"This is the best political way to solve the growing problem connected with allegations of corruption by the most important political representatives of the country," said leading Civic Platform member Bronislaw Komorowski. "We would like to avoid a public reaction like in Budapest. We would prefer to look for a political solution." More than 200 people were hurt during anti-government riots in the Hungarian capital last week, and daily protests continue ahead of Sunday's local elections.
But the government in Warsaw rejected suggestions that it should quit, and suggested the secret film had been made using equipment from the security services, which Law and Justice claims is riddled with its ex-communist enemies.
"What we have here is a huge political provocation from forces that do not want change and who are trying to stall the creation of a majority coalition and reforms to the state," said senior Law and Justice member Marek Kuchcinski.

aide- pomocnik
allegation- zarzut
amid- pośród
attempt- próba, usiłowanie
available- do dyspozycji
back- popierać
buffet- uderzać; be buffeted by- być dotkniętym/ doświadczonym przez
covertly- potajemnie
crumble- rozpadać się, walić się
defector- zdrajca, odstępca
domestic- krajowy
fine- ukarać grzywną
footage- materiał filmowy
post- stanowisko
prospect- szansa, nadzieja
pugnacious- zaczepny, zadziorny
purge- oczyszczać
quit- odejść, rzucić, zrezygnować
redistribute- redystrybuować, rozdzielać na nowo
reject- odrzucać
restore- przywracać
riddle (with)- przesiewać
riot- zamieszki
scupper- sknocić, popsuć
snap- pospieszny, przyspieszony
unrepentant- nieskruszony


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