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I'm staying put as leader, says Kaczynski

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 11.10.2011 14:32
Former prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of main opposition party Law and Justice (PiS), told journalists at a press conference this morning that he will remain in his position, “unless the party decides otherwise.”

Kaczynski at Tuesday press conference; photo - PAP/Tomasz Gzell

In 2008, during a lecture at the Catholic University in Lublin, Kaczynski had declared that he would make way for a “younger” leader if he lost the 2011 election.

However, today he said that besides “three years of experience”, a “significant factor” in his change of heart was “the Smolensk air tragedy and all that followed it.”

Kaczynski lost his twin brother Lech, the late president, in the 2010 air disaster, which also killed 95 others on board.

Kaczynski's socially conservative party took 29.98 percent of the vote in Sunday's general election, 9.1 percent less than centre-right party Civic Platform (PO), which looks likely to continue its coalition with the Polish Peasants Party (PSL), the latter taking 8.36 percent.

Besides affirming his personal plan to stay on as leader of PiS, Kaczynski took the opportunity to express his disdain about the arrival of the anti-clerical Palikot Movement party in the Sejm (lower house of parliament).

“This kind of political formation should not exist in parliament,” he said.

“We do not want anything to do with them, they will be completely ignored by us,” he added.

The Palikot Movement, which champions liberal abortion laws, civil partnerships and the legalisation of soft drugs, won a surprise 10 percent share of the vote, in spite of the fact that the party is largely composed of newcomers to national politics.

Alluding to whispers of possible discontent in the ranks of PiS, Kaczynski said that he thought that any knee-jerk change in the party structure following Sunday's results “could be very, very damaging to the party,” and that such a move “did not make sense” if nothing had gone “drastically” wrong during the election, “and in my view, it hasn't.” (nh/pg)

source: PAP

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