Sunday, March 19, 2006

Polish Government wants election...

...but turkeys might not vote for Christmas.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the Law and Justice (PiS) minority government, told a rally, Saturday, that his party will be seeking to dissolve parliament.

He said that he prefers a date before the summer. “"We will submit this motion (to dissolve parliament) shortly so that elections could take place before the Pope's visit to Poland,." That means before the end of May.

One month ago PiS signed a ‘stability pact’ with two smaller, populist parties so that they could get essential and wide ranging legislation through parliament.

But the pact has become unreliable, says the government. "We want to strengthen democracy. When conflicts cannot be solved in parliament they should be solved by citizens," said Kaczynski, whose twin brother Lech is Poland's president.

To successfully dissolve parliament the government needs a two-thirds majority. This means that they need votes from the opposition Civic Platform, which PiS are currently neck and neck with in the opinion polls.

The dissolution also needs the support of at least one other party. But support probably won’t be coming from the two parties that the government signed the stability pact with – League of Polish Families and SelfDefense.

Leader of the latter, Andzej Lepper – who’s party has around five percent in the opinion polls at the moment, meaning that SelfDefense might not get into parliament after another election - is, not surprisingly, none too keen on going to the voters: “I will absolutely not support this motion. The government enjoys support, we have a parliamentary majority, so why all the manipulation?", he said.

So we just might be in a situation where a government wants an election and the opposition say, “Nope, not interested.”


michael farris said...

I actually think they _don't_ want elections now. If they actually won a majority they'd be expected to do something. This is the eternal trap of populist parties; if they're ever actually in a position to make good on their promises they're done for.
Usually their policies would guarantee economic downturn (opening the door for other populists). If by some miracle their policies work, then they lose their big issues. It's your basic catch 22.

Calling for elections that won't happen is a stalling tactic. They don't have to do much and they get to blame all their failures on 'układ'(rough translation: anyone who opposes them).

beatroot said...

Nothing is certain with thislot. But one thing is: there will be another election soon. And when it happens then PiS and PO will be the winners and they will...form a coalition government!!!!

michael farris said...

Not if PiS wins they won't. A story on wyrborcza's site has a quote from the Duckling to the effect that it would be easier to form an effective minority government with 200 posłowie than with the 150 or so they have now.

They might eat some crow and be willing to join in a PO led government (though JK doesn't strike me as the loyal kind) but if they 'win' with .0001 over PO they'll want 98% of the pot.

beatroot said...

...and they won't get it. The difference between PiS and PO this time and AWS last time was that the latter had an alliance worked out before the elections.

PiS and PO will have to form some sort of coalition...but it won't last very long. A year, two. And then we are back to the begining again.

That's Polish paliamentary politics.