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Polish Opposition Party Emerges Victorious in Parliamentary Elections


Poland's pro-business opposition Civic Platform Party has emerged victorious in Sunday's parliamentary elections.

With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, Donald Tusk's Civic Platform has captured more than 41 percent of the vote. About 32 percent went to outgoing Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski's Law and Justice Party.

Mr. Kaczynski has conceded defeat, and Mr. Tusk has pledged to help Poles feel comfortable in their own country again.

Mr. Tusk is expected to seek a coalition with the Peasant Party.

Civic Platform is pushing for lower taxes on businesses, a smaller bureaucracy, and closer integration into the European economic system. It also wants to withdraw Polish troops from Iraq.

EU officials welcomed the results Monday, expressing confidence that ties with Poland will strengthen.

Commenting Monday on the opposition's victory, former president Lech Walesa criticized the administration of Mr. Kaczynski, and said Poles had rescued their honor with the elections.

Mr. Tusk's Civic Platform is likely to fall short of a majority of seats in parliament, but is expected to form a coalition with the centrist Polish Peasants Party.

Sunday's elections end two years of conservative rule by Prime Minister Kaczynski and his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski.

The prime minister called Sunday's election two years early after his government collapsed in a corruption scandal.

He now promises that his Law and Order party will be a strong opposition during the next government.

President Kaczynski's current term ends in 2010.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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