Poland's prime minister meets with opposition parliamentary groups

Poland's prime minister was meeting with four opposition parliamentary groups Wednesday in a last-minute push for their support for his minority government ahead of a confidence vote.

Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, of the socially-conservative Law and Justice party, and his Cabinet were appointed Oct. 31 to lead a minority government with only 154 seats in Poland's 460 member lower house.

To garner enough votes for the required majority for the confidence ballot on Thursday, Marcinkiewicz was trying to woo support Wednesday from the anti-European Union Self-Defense party, with 56 seats, and the ex-communist Polish Peasants' Party, with 25 seats.

Analysts believe he can already count on 32 votes from the conservative League of Polish Families, which he met with on Tuesday. But party leaders said the final decision will be taken just before Thursday's vote.

Self-Defense's leader Andrzej Lepper told private radio Tok FM his party would likely back the government but that Marcinkiewicz should "not yet totally" count on his support.

Marcinkiewicz was also meeting with the pro-business Civic Platform, which came in second in Sept. 25 elections with 132 seats. The two parties had been expected to form a coalition but the negotiations fell through over program issues and the divisions of top posts, and it seemed unlikely Civic Platform would vote for the prime minister's minority government.

The former ruling Democratic Left Alliance was also meeting with Marcinkiewicz but has already said its 55 lawmakers will oppose the government.

If Marcinkiewicz's team loses the vote Thursday, parliament will have to choose a new prime minister and Cabinet from among its members, reports the AP. I.L.

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