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UPDATED: 11:45, September 22, 2006
Polish PM seeks removal of his deputy, ruling coalition on edge of collapse
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Large cracks were appearing in Poland's ruling coalition on Thursday as Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski threatened to sack the deputy prime minister and his coalition partner, Andrezj Lepper.

Kaczynski told the press he would ask his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, to remover Lepper, leader of the Self-Defense Party, from the posts of deputy prime minister and agriculture minister.

"Lepper was given a chance to participate in the process of good ruling," Kaczynski said, but he added that he had missed the opportunity.

Kaczynski said his Law and Justice Party had made efforts to keep the government majority. But he warned, "If this fails, the only normal and democratic solution will be early elections."

"The situation that has recently emerged cannot continue. Poland needs peace and stability," he added.

The Law and Justice Party formed a majority ruling alliance with the rural-based Self-Defense Party and the League of Polish Families (LPR) after winning the parliamentary poll last September.

Lepper warned again on Thursday that his party would walk away from the ruling coalition if its demand for increased spending for next year failed to be met.

Lepper told the press his party would not vote for the 2007 budget as proposed by Finance Minister Stanislaw Kluza on Wednesday.

Lepper insisted on more spending on health care, science, technological research, pension indexation, social welfare, fuel for farmers and insurance for farmers. On top of that he also wanted more funding for his agriculture ministry.

"The budget is very important for us. We will not deceive our voters. If the 2007 budget is not one of a solidarity-minded state then political games will be over," Lepper said.

He added that his party was tied to the government only by its "program, nothing else."

"If nothing changes (with respect to the 2007 budget), then it is better to stop mutual recriminations (with the PiS). Perhaps it is better to make a cut and end this ordeal for all of us," Lepper said.

"Either there is stability, and the budget promised when we signed the coalition agreement, or let us say 'thank you' and continue in government only until the early elections on Nov. 26," he added.

Source: Xinhua

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