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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » October 29, 2010
Politics & Society
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News in brief
October 29, 2010   
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Local Government Elections

In this fall’s local government elections, Poles will elect 1,576 rural commune administrators, 903 mayors and 46,809 councilors. The first round of the elections will be held on Nov. 21, the second on Dec. 5.
Campaign committees had until Oct. 4 to register with the State Election Committee. By Oct. 22 they had to submit their lists of candidates for councilors to local election committees. Candidates for the posts of rural commune administrators and mayors could be submitted until Oct. 27.

A poll by the CBOS company two months before the elections shows that there is record level of interest in the elections, with 71 percent of those surveyed saying they intend to vote.

CBOS also asked Polish people about their political preferences. If a parliamentary election had been held in the first half of October, the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party would have been supported by 39 percent of those who said they would go to the polls. The opposition Law and Justice Party (PiS) would have been supported by 23 percent and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) party by 9 percent. The Polish People’s Party (PSL), which is now the junior coalition partner in the government, would have received 4 percent of the vote and would not have made it into parliament. Researchers say, however, that local elections are governed by different laws that parliamentary elections.


Symbolic Gate to Freedom

Germany’s ambassador to Warsaw, Rudiger Freiherr von Fritsch, Oct. 6 unveiled an artistic installation entitled Through Warsaw to Freedom to mark the Day of German Unity. The installation commemorates the solidarity shown by Polish people and politicians to East German refugees who tried to get to West Germany in the first months of the Autumn of the Peoples, which put an end to communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe.

More than 6,000 refugees from East Germany found shelter in the West German embassy in Warsaw in the autumn of 1989. The first non-communist Polish government led by Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, formed only a few weeks earlier, successfully negotiated with the East German authorities to secure safe passage for the refugees to West Germany.

The Polish-German Cooperation Foundation and the German embassy decided to put up a memorial to the participants in those events. Its main element is a gate which symbolizes the gate which the refugees climbed to get to the West German embassy.
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