The Pawlak Interlude

Poland Table of Contents

In June Walesa nominated Waldemar Pawlak, the thirty-two- year-old leader of the Polish Peasant Party, as Olszewski's replacement. The Sejm approved the nomination by a vote of 261 to 149. To calm the highly charged atmosphere in Warsaw and the persistent rumors of coup plots, the new prime minister immediately replaced ministers implicated in circulation of the controversial list. Despite Pawlak's reputation as a reasonable and competent politician, he could not surmount his membership in a party tainted by past accommodation to the communists; he was unable to assemble a cabinet acceptable to the splintered Sejm. The first prime minister without Solidarity connections since the Round Table Agreement, Pawlak failed to win the support of any major party linked to Solidarity. When talks with the major opposition parties broke down a month after his appointment, Pawlak asked Walesa to relieve him of the mission of forming a new government.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress