Current Affairs

Homophobic government faces election test

Lydia Malmedie July 10, 2007
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The conservative Polish coalition government, known for its nationalistic and homophobic views, is at risk of falling apart.

Twins Jaroslaw and Lech Kaczynski, the Prime Minister and President respectively, run one of the largest countries in the EU with a population of 38 million people.

Yesterday Prime Minister Kaczynski fired his coalition partner, deputy and head of the main coalition party, Andrzej Lepper, for suspected involvement in corruption.

His decision leaves the coalition short of a majority in parliament.

He still has the support of the outspokenly anti-gay Polish League of Families, who want Section 28-like laws introduced to stop “homosexual propaganda” being taught in schools.

“September will be a month of decision-making,” Prime Minister Kaczynski told Polish public radio.

While Mr Lepper announced the end of the coalition, his party, called Samoobrona (Self-Defence), is still contemplating whether to take up Mr Kaczynski’s offer to stay part of the coalition.

If the party decides to leave the Kaczynski government, new elections would be almost unavoidable as the only way to solve the governmental crisis.

The election would probably take place in October, the conservative paper Dziennik announced.

Depending on the voters’ decision, they could either restore a majority to Mr Kaczynski or evict him from power.

The Prime Minister rejected a demand by the democratic left alliance (SLD) to immediately dissolve parliament, saying the elections would fall at a time when many Polish people are on holidays.

The current Polish government has been criticised by many other European leaders.

Last year the European Parliament adopted a resolution which stated its concerns about the increase in homophobic violence in the EU and made specific reference to Poland.

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