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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 20:57 GMT
New Polish PM wins crucial vote
Poland's Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz
Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz has gained support from smaller parties
Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz has won a confidence vote in his minority government, two weeks after taking power.

Mr Marcinkiewicz won the support of the lower house of parliament with 272 votes in favour and 187 against.

His conservative Law and Justice party won both parliamentary and presidential elections recently, but relies on the support of minority parties to govern.

He promised to stamp out corruption, support families and boost the economy.

Law and Justice had planned to rule together with the liberal Civic Platform, but coalition talks broke down after the elections.

Jobs pledge

Ahead of the vote, the leaders of the Self-Defence Party and the League of Polish Families said they would recommend their parliamentary groups voted "yes".

Mr Marcinkiewicz spent time before the vote outlining his policies to MPs.

He promised to reduce unemployment - currently at 18% - and tackle corruption.

He said he would privatise some industries but would retain several other key organisations under state control, including postal and broadcasting services.

Euro delay

The BBC's Jan Repa says Mr Marcinkiewicz is a respected, if little-known, academic economist, who has been keen to dispel the impression that his will be a government of provincial xenophobes.

Eight of his 17-member cabinet are non-party technocrats.

Two leading figures in the Law and Justice party - the newly-elected president, Lech Kaczynski, and his twin brother, party chairman Jaroslaw - have the potential to dominate the new government, our correspondent says.

Mr Marcinkiewicz says Poland wants to play a constructive role in the European Union but is in no hurry to join the euro, despite its obligations under the accession treaty.

The new government also intends to abolish the present military intelligence service - described as a hotbed of old communists - and to establish a new Central Anti-Corruption Office under a separate minister, our correspondent says.

Regarding foreign affairs, the new government plans to maintain close relations with the US. Mr Marcinkiewicz has hinted that Polish troops may remain in Iraq beyond the end of this year.

Q&A: Polish elections
23 Sep 05 |  Europe
Country profile: Poland
13 Jun 04 |  Country profiles

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