Exit polls indicate Polish shift to right

Exit polls and early returns indicated Polish voters ousted the nation's scandal-prone government of ex-communists in parliamentary elections Sunday, giving a broad majority to two center-right parties that have promised tax cuts and clean government.

Sunday's election appears certain to return to power supporters of the Solidarity trade union movement that toppled communism in 1989-90, and early returns indicated a dramatic defeat for the government of Prime Minister Marek Belka.

The state electoral commission said Monday that with 60 percent of votes counted, the conservative Law and Justice Party had 26.56 percent of the vote, while the free-market Civic Platform had 24.08 percent.

The two parties have said they would form a government together, and the early results indicated they would control 274 seats in parliament's 460-member lower house.

The third largest force is the radical farmer Self-Defense Party, with 12.44 percent of votes. The turnout was 39.25 percent. Exit polls indicated a similar outcome.

Vote tallies were likely to change somewhat, as Warsaw, with some 1.5 million residents, was lagging behind in the vote count, the head of the commission, Ferdynand Rymarz, said, reports the AP

Photo: Reuters

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