BHHRG

About BHHRG

The British Helsinki Human Rights Group monitors human rights and democracy in the 57 OSCE member states from the United States to Central Asia.
* Monitoring the conduct of elections in OSCE member states.
* Examining issues relating to press freedom and freedom of speech
* Reporting on conditions in prisons and psychiatric institutions

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Foreign Policy: turning up the heat on several fronts
HITS: 5649 | 10-01-2006, 02:06 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Poland , Political science, Political leaders, Analyzing

Perhaps the PiS government’s most significant appointment so far is that of Radek Sikorski as Minister of Defence. Sikorski has been based in the UK and US almost continually since 1982 although he was, briefly, a deputy foreign minister and deputy defence minister between 1992-3 in the first post-Solidarity government. Although he bought a country house in Poland in the last years of Communism[1], Sikorski’s journalistic and think-tank career was primarily British and then Washington-based. However, he returned to contest a seat in the Senate in the 2005 elections which he won with over 76,0000 votes, a significant level of support even though he must be something of an unknown quantity at local level in Poland.
Mr. Sikorski is, however, no stranger to the power elite in Washington, where he was Executive - Director of the New Atlantic Initiative, an arm of the neo-con American Enterprise Institute, (AEI) from 2002 until the eve of the polls in 2005. During that time he has chaired numerous appearances by and conferences with some of the United States closest allies and supporters. Many ex- Communist turncoats who have found it highly profitable to switch their allegiance from Big Brother in the Kremlin to pay obeisance to an even more powerful and wealthy patron in Washington have been hosted at the AEI, where naïve (or cynical)?

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The Presidential Election in Poland
HITS: 2220 | 10-01-2006, 01:52 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Poland , Political leaders

The state election commission registered 16 candidates for the 9th October elections.
In alphabetic order: Marek Borowski, Henryka Bochniarz, Leszek Bubel, Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Maciej Giertych, Liwiusz Ilasz, Lech Kaczynski, Jaroslaw Kalinowski, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, Andrzej Lepper, Daniel Podrzycki, Jan Pyszko, Zbigniew Religa, Adam Slomka, Donald Tusk and Stanislaw Tyminski.
Daniel Podrzycki died prior to the poll and Zbigniew Religa, Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz and Maciej Giertych withdrew from the race.
Donald Tusk - leader of the Civic Platform (PO) and Lech Kaczynski - mayor of Warsaw and the candidate of Law and Justice (PiS) led in pre-election opinion polls. Other candidates with significant levels of support were heart surgeon, Zbigniew Religa, Self-defence leader, Andrzej Lepper, and Polish Social Democracy (SdPl) leader, Marek Borowski.
According to the constitution, the Polish president has few legislative powers. However, he runs the country’s foreign policy and in this respect Alexander Kwasniewski’s ten year tenure has been regarded as a great success – at least, in the West. In particular, Kwasniewski has been loyalty personified to his post-1989 ally, the United States, by providing the third largest contingent of troops in Iraq and echoing Washington’s disapproval of Putin’s Russia. He also took the leading regional role in bringing the ‘Orange revolutionaries’ to power in Kiev in 2004.

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The Parliamentary Election
HITS: 2389 | 10-01-2006, 00:56 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Poland , Political science, Political leaders

To gain representation in the 460 seat Sejm inidividual parties have to surmount a 5% threshold, which is set at 8% for coalitions. There are 100 members of the Senate. Ten parties were registered in all electoral districts. A parliament runs for 4 years while the president is elected to serve a five year term.
The Democratic Left Alliance - (SLD) the victor of the 2001 elections, albeit in coalition. SLD promised a "return to roots" on the left. The party’s new leader Wojciech Olejniczak wants to cut unemployment. It should also take an active part in talks on the EU Constitution.
Polish Social Democracy (SdPl) -Labour Union-Greens coalition - party that broke away from the SLD in 2004 to distance itself from its post-communist legacy.

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Poland:Europe's neo-con Nation
HITS: 2174 | 10-01-2006, 00:33 | Comments: (0) | Categories: Poland , Politics, Elections

Parliamentary and Presidential Elections in 2005 have brought a group of unpredictable nationalists to power
On 23rd October, 2005, Warsaw mayor Lech Kaczynski was elected President of Poland, becoming Poland’s third president since 1990. Earlier, on 25th September, Kaczynski’s party, Law and Justice (PiS) gained the largest number of votes in elections for the Parliament (Sejm) and Senate, just ahead of the free market, Citizens Platform (PO). As his campaign posters proclaimed, Mr. Kaczynski’s central pledge was the creation of a Fourth Polish republic which would be founded on the country’s moral revival.
The results of both elections also marked the third time that the country’s voters had veered from left to right: the outgoing Alliance of the Democratic Left (SLD) minority government had been shaken for some time by corruption allegations and popular discontent with its policies which were a continuation of the broad trends set by its predecessors since the first post-Communist government in 1989.

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