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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Polish Iraq Pullout Propoganda

Remember Poland announcing that it's troops as part of the coalition in Iraq would be pulled out at the end of the year? A number of commentators jumped on this as proof that the coalition was abandoning America. The actual Polish statement was somewhat different than the intepretation. And the interpretation in Poland was considered an election ploy to try and get the current leftist government back in government after the upcoming elections.

From the Warsaw Business Journal
A government statement that Polish troops will disengage from Iraq by the end of the year has been derided as a political stunt.

Last week Defence Minister Jerzy Szmajdziński confirmed an earlier proposal that Poland should withdraw its troops when its Security Council mandate runs out at the end of the year.

"We are carrying out our exit strategy from Iraq," Szmajdziński told reporters after a cabinet meeting. "At the time of the expiry of the Security Council's mandate - meaning at the end of 2005 - the operations of the Polish stabilization mission should be finished."

However, Szmajdziński's statement was not a formal announcement of withdrawal, but rather his recommendation. Many believe that the decision whether to pullout from Iraq will be made by the next government.

Though not a surprise, opposition parties immediately accused the government of playing politics with the statement. Most Polish citizens oppose their country's involvement in Iraq, and polls have long showed that Szmajdziński's party, the ruling Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), is set to lose autumn elections in a landslide.

"This is clearly a decision motivated by domestic politics," said Jacek Raciborski, a sociologist from Warsaw University. "The leftists try to get the people back by sending positive signals ahead of general elections."

Civic Platform - a center-right party which supports Polish involvement in Iraq and is expected to take the SLD's place after elections - cried foul, accusing the SLD of political opportunism.

"This is a propaganda trick," said Bronisław Komorowski, a spokesman for Civic Platform. (Reuters)

Posted by Lucia Maria | 4/19/2005 10:24:00 am

2 Comments:

Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

What date is scheduled for the election?

4/19/2005 10:51:00 am  
Blogger Lucyna said...

They haven't decided yet. There looks like there's going to be a vote for a dissolution of the Sjem (parliament) on May 5. The preferred time is September for the current goverment, but there looks like there are moves to make it happen earlier.

Election Puzzle

4/19/2005 11:43:00 am  

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