Poland refuses poll observers


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Feb 5, 2002
Finland or Sweden

Poland bans OSCE poll observers

Poland has said it will not allow the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to monitor its parliamentary elections next month.

The foreign ministry in Warsaw said Poland did not need observers because it was a well-established democracy.

The OSCE, which often sends monitors to cover polls in its member states, voiced surprise at Poland's move.

However, there are no fears that the 21 October elections will be rigged, our correspondent in Warsaw says.

The early elections were called by Polish President Lech Kaczynski after the parliament voted to dissolve itself earlier in September.

The ruling conservative coalition collapsed last month amid corruption allegations against the leader of a junior partner.

'Faux pas'

"The OSCE asked Poland to admit observers for the election but Poland rejected the proposal, underlining that Poland is a democracy," Polish Foreign ministry spokesman Robert Szaniawski said.

"It's a standard procedure that it is the country that invites OSCE observers for elections, so in this case OSCE made a faux pas," he added.

A spokeswoman for the OSCE poll monitoring group described the situation as "unusual".

"A monitoring mission has nothing to do with what we think of the state of democratic practices in a country," Urdur Gunnarsdottir was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Poland is one of the 56 members of the OSCE, whose election monitoring headquarters are based in Warsaw.

As well as monitoring elections in undemocratic countries, the OSCE sends teams to nations likes France and the United States, the BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw says.

Although Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has been accused of abusing the state's power, nobody seriously believes that his government is preparing to rig the polls, our correspondent says.

He adds that the government's refusal to co-operate has been widely criticised in Poland.

Some Western diplomats also say Russia could use Warsaw's example as an excuse to prevent observers from attending its elections later this year.

comments? will the twins try to rig the Election?
Well, if they win, the vote has obviously been rigged. However, if they loose, the vote has obviously been rigged, due to knowledge of a very bad event that is about to occur!
The point about other states using this as justification to not allow the observers in was an important one I think. This is spectacularly bad judgement.
Well, Kaczynski twins are paranoics seeing evil spies and webs of interests all around them. The problem is that:
1) Kaczynskis had some illegal and corruptional activities as well
2) They think that in their mission of "cleaning Poland", every move is allowed
3) They believe everyone who disagrees with them to be an agent, a spy, criminal or whatever
4) they "clean" the institutions of everyone, but they have to put there someone, so they put their own people everyone. It's them who creates a web suffocating Poland
5) They usually hurl insults and false accusations at someone, in hope it will stick to them, but using pseudo-legal talk. For example, ministry says that someone is "podejrzewany" - "suspected" instead of "podejrzany" - "a suspect", so that people would think it's a serious matter, etc
They have absolutely no shame, and it pays off. No matter what they do, they will always say it's in the name of fight against the corruption etc, and some people believe them.
They were trying to get rid of leader of their coalition party, mr Lepper. Now Lepper is a crook, but it's another matter. They hate him not because of that, but because last time they wanted to split his party he published videos of some of their most important men trying to bribe his people into supporting their goverment by means of paying their debts out of state money, and giving them high offices (every normal gouverment would fall after that, but PiS, or Kaczynskis, just carried on). They've made a set-up for Lepper, being at this time vice-prime minister. But he didn't take the bribe, nor did some other people who seemed interested in it. The action was illegal, because these services are not allowed to make provocations. But, as one PiS "Law and Justice" parliamentarist said, it's not important if it's legal or not, if it's effective.
Now the gouverment got to the point that there must have been a leak of informations. Minister of internal affairs, until then one of the people who were supposed to clean the Poland etc, became "in the circle of suspicions", and was fired.
Then he started saying that minister of justice, Ziobro, is not only spying on the opposition and coalition parties, but also on prime minister and president himself, trying to take their place. He told other things harmful to PiS, so he was arrested just when he was supposed to be interrogated by the parliamentary comission. Later he was released, and the court announced his arrest was illegal. But minister Ziobro managed to make a "presentation of evidence" that convinced many people. He arrested minister of internal affair's friends as well - chief of police and others, accusing them all of the leak. He wanted to put hands on mr Krauze, one of richest Poles. It is because there are many who believe that if someone is rich, he must've stolen his wealth, and PiS is trying to portray itself as the party who fights them. They even introduced term "oligarch", from Russia.

PiS completely took over public TV. Moreover, it tries to pressure independant channels to not fight it as well.

A very important event happened a couple of months ago. PiS believes in existance of "petrol mafia" in Silesia region, and believes it has to do with left-winged SLD party. People interrogated in this matter were asked for politicians of this party in particular. One of them, businesswoman Kmiecik, was given parole (or whatever, she was told that she won't be held responsible for her crimes as long as she will tell "the truth") in exchange for testimonies pointing to her friend, miss Blida, former minister and one of the most popular politicians in this important (second most populated in Poland) region. She was already interrogated once or twice in this matter. Now it seems mr Ziobro wanted to make another taped arrest. One of his co-workers says he already demanded gathering materials for press conference.
It seems Blida was supposed to be treated as "the lioness of the left wing", miss Jakubowska, who for corruption chanrges was hand-cuffed in her pyjamas and dragged outside, where tv and enraged crowd was already waiting.
The evening before the event, a tv program in public tv where PiS has the strongest influence, was about "petrol mafia". The next morning, at 6 o'clock, PiS-created CBA functionaries came for her. But she commited suicide.
Now perhaps she was guilty of some charges. But it's not the most important.
The important thing is that they wanted to make a spectacle out of it, for political gain. First they denied that the event was taped. When they have fnally showed it, it was much shorter than it was said to be. Minister Ziobro first denied he knew anything about the matter, later on it turned out, and it was admitted by prime minister himself, that the gouverment discussed this matter at least twice. Prosecutors claimed that there is not enough evidence, but it was said that when she spends 2 months in prison, she will start talking, and with her in hand, they will have opportunity to get other left-winged politicians.

The parliament wanted to investigate this matter, but it was denied such possibility. PiS is using many tricks to diminish the role of parliament, since they no longer have majority in it. For example, marshall of parliament Dorn is accused of being unobjective and parliament wanted to change him. But it is marshall of parliament who decides when everything is being voted, so he just never let parliament vote. The same, parliament wanted to vote ministers out of the gouverment - but prime minister fired all the ministers and hired the same persons, not letting parliament do anything. Now it is illegal according to lawyers, but "Law and Justice" doesn't care.
Ex-coalitiants, along with some of the opposition, wanted to change the gouverment before dissolution of the parliament, so that the secret services would not be in PiS hands during the elections. But the biggest opposition party, PO, the liberals, didn't want to taint itself by cooperating with ex-communist SLD, corrupted Self-Defence party or ultranationalistic League of Polish Families. It hoped for easy victory and wanted the elections as soon as possible. But now it probably regrets.
Because PiS is in the lead of polls again,
Because strangely the services hastened their investigation on malversations inside PO, interrogating hundreds of young PO activists that were helping PO during the last campaign and that probably have little to do with the matter in question. It is double gain for PiS: it shows PO in bad light, and it scares away people willing to work for it during the elections as well.
What I've written is only a small part of a nightmare we have in Poland right now.

To show the might and idiocy of minister Ziobro. Minister Ziobro is a young prosecutor, he only had one case and he lost. But he likes to accuse.
He accused a reknown surgeon, makes transplants. Minister Ziobro made a tv conference claiming he not only was taking bribes, but was killing people as well, f.e. for not giving him bribes. He said "this man will never kill anyone again". He was arrested (PiS used to use photos of his arrest in its campaign), and many stuff was taken from his home as possible bribes. Later it was all returned except for a bottle of vodka and some cookies or whatever... And no evidence for that he was involved in murder was found. The result is that the number of transplantations in Poland decreased almost by half, because surgeons are afraid that if the operation is not successful, they will be accused of murder as well...
Yet, Ziobro is proud of himself. And popular.
I just hope that the Poles will elect someone who will truly represent their country! :thumbsup:

I don´t think they would influence the results, perhaps they just felt that the OSCE displayed a "colonial" attitude in not trusting Poland.
Any electoral process in any country should include international observers.
The part that gives me the giggles is the fact the the OSCE's election monitoring branch is based in Warsaw... you can't make up this stuff up! :)
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