Polish coalition in crisis

Junior partner's decision to withdraw from government may trigger early polls.

     Lepper, who was sacked as deputy prime minister last month, said the coalition was no more [AP]
    Lepper said the coalition "was broken by Kaczynski's party", which last week appointed a controversial farm minister over Samoobrona's protests.
     
    The minister, Wojciech Mojzesowicz, quit Samoobrona in 2002 and is now a member of the conservative PiS.
     
    He angered his former colleagues last year by trying to persuade some of them to jump ship in exchange for top political posts.
     
    Snap election
     
    Kaczynski has accused Samoobrona of intransigence over Mojzesowicz's appointment, and said: "If our allies want to break it [the coalition] up, we will have a minority government, followed by a snap election."
     
    The next election is not formally due until 2009.
     
    The Polish parliament is in summer recess so the effects of Samoobrona's decision - passed in a vote of 61-8 - will not be felt for some weeks.
     
    Lepper said that the two ministers affected - Anna Kalata, the labour minister, and Andrzej Aumiller, the public works minister - "are currently on leave, and they'll put themselves at Prime Minister Kaczynski's disposal after the vacations".
     
    He said his party "would not vote any more in line with PiS policies from the next parliamentary session, which starts on August 22".
     
    Karol Karski, a PiS MP, was sceptical.
     
    "Let's wait and see if Samoobrona's ministers really offer their resignations and how its MPs vote in parliament at the end of the day," he said.
     
    The PiS - which is run by Kaczynski and his twin brother Lech, who is the country's president - has just 150 MPs in the 460-seat parliament.
     
    It governs through a coalition with Samoobrona, which held 44 seats, and the League of Polish Families (LPR), which has 29.
     
    The LPR's leadership is to meet on Monday to decide whether it will continue to support the PiS.
     
    Lepper said his party, which was formed from a rural protest movement in the 1990s, intended to continue to work with the LPR through an alliance both have recently forged.
     
    Lepper himself was sacked as deputy prime minister and farm minister in July amid bribery allegations and implication in a political sex scandal.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Life after death row: The pastor praying for Nigeria's prisoners

    The Nigerian pastor adapting to life after death row

    Clinton Kanu spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, but life on the outside feels far from free.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.