Thursday, August 25, 2005

Polish presidential election: Cimo in the doo-doo


latest poll: Tusk 31%...Kaczynski 21%...Cimoszewicz 21%...Lepper 12%...Borowski 5%...Religa 5%...Giertych 5%
The one time front-runner in the race for the Presidential Palace has plummeted in the polls due to either corruption, or a rightwing witch hunt (delete according to political preference).

When he declared that he was running for president in elections on October 7, Wlodzimirz Cimoszewicz, the candidate for the ex-communist SLD, leapt to the top of the opinion polls.

And then the corruption scandals began. Cimo has been accused of lying in a parliamentary statement of assets in 2001. The scandal may be settled by the end of this month, although the state prosecutor is looking into the matter.

Cimoszewicz was trying to present himself as the only member of the SLD government not to have been embroiled in political corruption scandals recently. His hands were clean.

And then details emerged which have called into question his record. Cimo says that document’s ‘proving’ his guilt are forged – and this is certainly very possibly true.

But whatever the result of the enquiry, it seems that his candidature is now doomed. His ratings have nose-dived in the polls, going from a clear first to a dismal joint second, or third, depending on which newspaper you read.

The new front-runner is Donald Tusk, from the thatcherite Civic Platform. But even he doesn’t seem particularly impressed with his, or the other candidates’, platforms and personalities.

In an interview with the Polityka weekly, Tusk said the race, "is not a campaign between two giants. Rather it is a struggle between five or six medium-weight candidates, none of whom crushes opponents with their personality or charisma".

And I presume he is including himself as one of the pigmies.

And they complain about low turnouts in Poland. If even the political class are not impressed by themselves, then how are the rest of expected to get interested?

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