Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Friday sacked deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Andrzej Lepper, leader of a coalition partner, in a move that could lead to new elections.
Kaczynski dismissed Lepper at the request of the Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. He also fired Stanislaw Kluza from the post of finance minister and reappointed Zyta Gilowska as deputy prime minister and finance minister after she was cleared of communist collaboration charges.
The ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) formed a majority government in coalition with the League of Polish Families (LPR) and Lepper's Self-Defense Party in May.
Lepper said after being sacked that other cabinet ministers of his party would also leave, which meant Jaroslaw Kaczynski's government would be a minority one again.
PiS on the same day began negotiations with the Farmer's Party to seek a coalition. Kaczynski suggested that the only way out would be dissolving the parliament and holding an election if the negotiations failed.
Sources here believed that Lepper was sacked over his criticism of the premier's announcement during his U.S. visit to sent additional troops to Afghanistan. Also, Lepper said his party would vote against the 2007 draft budget if it was not revised.