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Document Creation Date: 
November 26, 2019
Document Release Date: 
December 10, 2019
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Publication Date: 
June 3, 1989
PDF icon NID POLAND ELECTION IMP[15743500].pdf117.92 KB
Approved for Release: 2019/10/29 C06826743 Special Analysis POLAND: Election Implications The election In Poland tomorrow will produce a sweeping victory for Solidarity and a deeply divided government. The opposition will fully control the new senate, which must approve legislation initiated by the lower house; the party and its allies will retain most of Me lower house seats and get the powerful new presidency. Even If pragmatists on froth sides seek compromise to address Poland's deepening economic problems, bitter political conflict ppeaniinevkable as the opposition tries to chip away at parry power. The party's negligible appeal and legitimacy ensure an opposition landslide in races for the new 100-member senate. The opposition probably will also win most of the 161 contested seats in the 460-member lower house the opposition has ov lingering skepticism participate in a mas eren rcomeiiitial voter apathy; despite voters are likely to um against party rule. Postelection Dilemmas The opposition coalition has survived internal dissension, wildcat strikes, and a boycott by radicals who claimed Solidarit le Walesa sold out to the regime at the roundtable talks. top Solidarity adviser Bronislaw Geremkwill become the opposition whip, tasked with developing coherent political action in the face of opposition divisions on such fundamental issues as the pace of economic reform, the need for austerity measures, and the relative merits of free market capitalism and West European social democracy. The party's resounding defeat will deepen polarization of hardliners and moderates in the regime.\ I Walesa and his top advisers fear their landslide will destroy party discipline and discredit the pragmatists responsible for the regime's grudging concessions at the roundtable. Regime moderates would then lack the power to fulfill agreements with the opposition. Party traditionalists are sure to accuse reformers of underestimating opponents like Walesa and to resist further concessions, 10 continued TCS 2828/89 3 June 1989 Annroved for Release: 2019/10/29 C06826743 Approved for Release: 2019/10/29 C06826743 New Polish Parliament Nionber of seats Upper House Rules for New Government Lowe House Guaranteed to Communist Party Gutuanteed to pro-Communist alliance parties 453% P Each house can initiate legislation that must be approved by both. P Lower house can override upper house disapproval by two-thirds majority. � Regime would have to gain some support from contested seats in lower house to guarantee two-thirds majority. P Both houses will convene within one month of election and elect president for six-year term; Jaruzelski is likely to be only candidate. 6 President has power to veto legislation and to dissolve Parliament if prolonged deadlock occurs or if national emergency declared. P Dissolution would require new election. TCS 2828/89 3 June 1989 1120/7 IMP Approved for Release: 2019/10/29 C06826743 Approved for Release: 2019/10/29 C06826743 In the postelection period, an uneasy and protracted tug of war between the regime and the opposition is likely. Party officials will be counting on General Jaruzelski to use the presidency to protect Communist privileges and break the opposition's momentum. The regime will try to maneuver the opposition into sharing responsibility for any painful economic policies and to lay the groundwork for blaming economic stagnation on opposition "obstructionism." The opposition will try to use the novelty of Poland's new political structure to build working relationships with pragmatists in the lower house, regardless of ideology, on issues that cut across party lines, like housing, environmental cleanup, and agricultural prices. In this way the opposition hopes to make inroads into the party's domination of the new structure and to exploit fissures between party hardliners and reformers. Opposition leaders will also be tempted to rally their forces around popular antiregime planks such as drastic funding cuts for the security services and abolishing the party's right to name economic managers, but pushing such issues too strongly will reduce the chances for political deals with party pragmatists on other significant issues Outlook The election almost certainly will be another milestone in the slow decline of the party's power, but the opposition must implement constructive political and economic reforms to fully grasp its new opportunity. If it fails, it could end up in a stalemate with party hardliners determined to protect their control of the economy and the corrupt nomenklatura. Such an outcome would risk further divisions in the opposition that would leave the Communists in broad control and the ace more disillusioned and angrier than ever 11 1....01.1-SOC10.... TCS 2828/89 3 June 1989 , I Approved for Release: 2019/10/29 C06826743 Approved for Release: 2019/10/29 C06826743 'C r11) Poland: Solidarity Outcampaigas Party After a slow start, Solidarity found its feet and mounted a Western-style election campaign complete with brass bands, bumper stickers, and stump speeches. As the campaign took hold, popular apathy gave way to cautious but growing optimism and enthusiasm. Buses in major cities were festooned with opposition placards. Solidarity lapel pins were widely visible, and thousands of citizens bought Solidarity coupons or "bricks" that helped finance races and that will become souvenirs. In contrast, the party never shed its stilted, rigid public style, and its campaign fizzled Clumsy rallies often drew only a few wore faithful while opposition events drew thousands. By midcarnpaign, it was clear that the party label doomed candidates to defeat; an official list of Communist candidates was not public information. Despite the mismatch, most opposition observers expect a relatively fair election. The regime, aware of the consequences of cheating both at home and abroad, is honoring its promise to permit opposition poll judges and ballot-counting observers and appears to have no plans to steal the election. TCS 2828/89 3 June 1989 Approved for Release: 2019/10/29 C06826743