Poland hit by Watergate-style scandal: opposition

A former Polish deputy prime minister and education minister in the cabinet of right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski on Tuesday accused him of using the secret services to eavesdrop on coalition partners.

Poland hit by Watergate-style scandal: opposition
A former Polish deputy prime minister and education minister in the cabinet of right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski on Tuesday accused him of using the secret services to eavesdrop on coalition partners.

"Wiretapping colleagues, using these wiretaps for political goals, in my opinion trying to arrange the detention or arrest of government colleagues - this is not the kind of activity which can be included in the canon of any code of conduct, aside from the gangsters' code," Roman Giertych, leader of the right-wing League of Polish Families (LPR) opposition party, told reporters in Warsaw.

"We have a Polish Watergate...," Giertych said, referring to the 1970s political scandal in the United States where Republican President Richard Nixon was suspected covering up spying on political rivals. The allegations ultimately led to Nixon's resignation.

Giertych's high-impact accusation followed a closed session of parliament where legislators heard the confidential testimony of Poland's ex-Interior Minister Janusz Kaczmarek.

Opposition parties are calling for special parliamentary commissions to be set up to investigate allegations that Premier Kaczynski used the secret services, the Justice Ministry and the Anti-Corruption Bureau to try to compromise political rivals.

Kaczynski has denied any wrongdoing, but clearly does not want to see parliament probe the damaging allegations.

Despite his PiS trailing the opposition liberal Civic Platform (PO) in recent opinion polls, Kaczynski is pushing for the dissolution of parliament and a fresh election as early as October 21.

The whirlwind of controversy comes as legislators are preparing to vote September 7 on a motion to dissolve parliament which, if successful, will spark a snap election.

Should the motion fail to pass, Kaczynski has vowed to tender his government's resignation. Under the constitution, the prime minister's identical twin brother would then have three attempts at creating a viable government before being required to call a fresh election.

Poland's next regularly scheduled general election is due in the Autumn of 2009.

DPA
Last Mod: 29 Ağustos 2007, 13:09
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