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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 21:22 GMT 22:22 UK
Polish MPs choose early election
PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski (L) with brother President Lech Kaczynski
PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski (L) may face a tight contest
The Polish parliament has voted to dissolve itself and call a general election, two years ahead of schedule.

The ruling coalition collapsed last month amid corruption allegations against the leader of a junior partner.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski will now select a date for elections, which must be held within 45 days.

The election will put his twin, PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski, against the main opposition Civic Platform, which favours economic reforms.

EU ties

The 460-seat lower house of parliament backed the dissolution by 377 votes to 54, providing the required two-thirds majority.

The new parliament will produce a better government
Donald Tusk, Civic Platform

Analysts say the election will be a referendum on the performance of the governing twins.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski's coalition found itself unable to continue after corruption allegations against Andrzej Lepper, head of the farming-based Self-Defence party.

Opinion polls say the election could be a close race between the PM's conservative Law and Justice party and Civic Platform, which favours closer ties to the European Union.

Civic Platform leader Donald Tusk said after the vote: "I believe that this evening brings people a sense of relief... The new parliament will produce a better government."

Jaroslaw Kaczynski had backed early elections to try to secure a stronger hold on parliament.

He will campaign on having overseen strong economic growth and reduced unemployment.

The opposition will target difficulties the twins have had with the European Union and Germany in particular.





SEE ALSO
Sacked Polish minister arrested
30 Aug 07 |  Europe
Country profile: Poland
23 Aug 07 |  Country profiles

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