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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » October 14, 2009
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From the Editor-in-Chief
October 14, 2009   
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We've entered a phase of shocks in Polish politics. It started after the Central Anticorruption Bureau (CBA) disclosed compromising statements Civic Platform (PO) politicians made about the gambling law and when the head of the bureau, Mariusz Kamiński, publicly criticized Prime Minister Donald Tusk. In practice, this means the start of campaigning ahead of next year's presidential election and the 2011 parliamentary elections.

Performing a major reshuffle of the government and his closest political aides, Tusk signaled he would pick up the gauntlet thrown down by the Law and Justice (PiS) party and would go to war. In fact, there's been a war going on all the time, only the intensity has varied. The bottom line of this war is obvious-a struggle for power, with two completely different visions of the state pitted against each other.

One side effect of this war is that political life has been dominated by two big parties, the governing PO and the opposition PiS. For the other parties in the parliament-the junior coalition partner, the Polish People's Party (PSL), and the opposition Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)-this is a big problem because despite trying hard they are invisible in the shadow of the warring sides.

The most spectacular clash will probably take place within a parliamentary investigation committee charged with probing the gambling law controversy. A previous investigation committee that examined another controversy involving senior government officials became a political guillotine for the now-marginalized SLD. The opposition is counting on a repeat of this scenario, but Tusk has decided to accept the challenge, confident in his strength and experience.

The war is not doing the public mood any good. Luckily, the Polish economy remains the most dynamic in Europe, while the Warsaw Stock Exchange and the Polish currency are on track to survive the political earthquake largely undisturbed.
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