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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 10:22 GMT
Polish PM seeks early elections
Marek Belka
'Help, please help' Mr Belka urged deputies
Poland's Prime Minister Marek Belka has urged parliament to dissolve itself on 5 May to allow for early elections.

Mr Belka, who has led a caretaker coalition since last May, made the plea during a debate on an opposition motion for him to step down.

His ruling Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) has slumped in opinion polls amid Poland's economic malaise and scandals over alleged influence peddling.

"I am for elections in the spring," Mr Belka told MPs.

Mr Belka is expected to announce whether he will accept an invitation to leave the SLD and join a centrist party formed on Sunday.

The new grouping, called the Democratic Party, would campaign strongly for a vote in favour of the proposed European Union constitution in a referendum later this year.

But analysts say Mr Belka may not make up his mind until his close ally, President Alexander Kwasniewski, who stands down in October, decides his own political future.

Parliament could be dissolved if two-thirds of the 460 deputies were in favour, including Mr Belka's party.

Polish PM wins confidence vote
24 Jun 04 |  Europe
Profile: Marek Belka
11 Jun 04 |  Europe
Country profile: Poland
13 Jun 04 |  Country profiles
Polish PM keeps promise to quit
02 May 04 |  Europe

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