Left Looks Toward Coalition After Elections in Poland

Heirs of Solidarity Lose After Years of Dissension and Scandals

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WARSAW, Poland, SEPT. 25, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Heirs of Solidarity´s political legacy were the great losers in Sunday´s legislative elections, as a coalition of ex-communists and socialists scored a victory.

The coalition of the Democratic Left Alliance, a post-communist group, and the socialist Labor Union won 41.55% of the vote — not enough to gain a majority in the Sejm, the Polish parliament.

On Monday, two private polling agencies said partial official results showed the Left with 219 of the 460 seats in the Sejm, 12 seats short of a majority. This means they would have to look to form a coalition with another party or parties. An official tally is due Wednesday.

Left behind were members of the AWSP electoral alliance of Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek and the Pro-Liberty Union of former Foreign Minister Bronislaw Geremek.

Solidarity´s heirs might end up without a single seat in Parliament.

Twelve years after leading the peaceful revolution that ended Communist rule, the political force of the labor movement failed because of four years of frustrated reforms, internal dissension and corruption scandals.

On the eve of the elections, Lech Walesa, the former electrician who led Solidarity to victory 12 years ago, and later became the first postwar president-elect, did not wish to say if he would vote for his old allies.

Reports indicate the Civic Platform, a liberal party, obtained 12.7% of the votes. This party, along with the left, has a program that favors European integration.

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