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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » October 14, 2009
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Council of Europe Job Eludes Cimoszewicz
October 14, 2009   
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Polish leftist politician Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, prime minister in 1996-1997, former foreign minister and parliamentary speaker, has failed to become the new secretary-general of the Council of Europe. He lost the bid to Thorbjoern Jagland, former prime minister of Norway. In the Sept. 30 vote, Jagland received 165 votes while Cimoszewicz got 80.

Cimoszewicz did not turn up for the afternoon session of the assembly when the election results were announced. But his associates gave the media his statement, in which he congratulated Jagland on his victory and wished him success in his "difficult mission."

"I would like to thank all of those who cast their votes to support me and I want to ask them to give their full support to the new secretary," Cimoszewicz wrote. He offered special thanks to Prime Minister Donald Tusk and members of his government as well as Polish diplomats and parliamentarians who supported him in his bid for the Council of Europe post. Cimoszewicz is the only independent senator in the upper house of the Polish parliament.

Polish delegates were surprised and disappointed with the outcome of the vote because until the last moment it seemed that the two candidates had equal chances. Many believe Cimoszewicz's bid failed because another Pole, Jerzy Buzek, was elected president of the European Parliament. Some delegates attributed Cimoszewicz's failure to Poland being seen as a country that has bad relations with Russia.
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