Political parties in Poland
On 4 February 1993, Patricia Koza of UPI reported that as of that date, there were 29 parties in the Sejm. However, Poland's political parties are not that numerous. There are from 6 to 11 parties that count, depending on the criteria adopted. Some other parties are listed here for historical accuracy; most of them have about as much clout as the Socialist Party in the United States.
Sources: Kultura, No. 12/543 (December 1992), Clarinet wire; Donosy, January 1993. Whenever available, updatings are provided for February and March 1993. The Sarmatian Review provided English translations and irreverent comments. We start with the Right and end with the renamed Communist Party as the most extreme wing of the Left.
ZChN - Zjednoczenie Chrzescijansko-Narodowe (Christian National Union). Chairman: Wieslaw Chrzanowski. 46 MPs in January 1993. Very traditionalist and somewhat suspicious of free market capitalism; "intellectually challenged." A ZChN splinter group under Antoni Macierewicz came into being in February 1993 and declared cooperation with RdR and PC.
PChD - Partia Chrzescijanskich Demokratow (Christian Democratic Party). Chairman: Pawel Laczkowski. 5 MPs. Low profile.
RdR - Ruch dla Rzeczypospolitej (Movement for the Republic), and
RTR - Ruch Trzeciej Rzeczypospolitej (Movement for the Third Republic). The first is headed by Jan Olszewski, the second, by Jan Parys. The two different names seem to reflect the egos of the leaders rather than real differences. 17 MPs. Conservative, favors energetic decommunization within state officialdom.
UPR - Unia Polityki Realnej (Realpolitik Union). Chairman: Janusz Korwin-Mikke. 3 MPs. Conservative in the Lord Dahlberg-Acton tradition. Made major political mistakes by selecting a misleading party name and a bizarre title for its periodical, Najwyzszy CZASI).
PC - Porozumienie Centrum (Center Alliance). Chairman: Jaroslaw Kaczynski. 24 MPs. Aspires to be centrist but tends to side with the conservatives. A likely candidate for extinction.
PK - Partia Konserwatywna (Conservative Party, a UD splinter organization, until recently called Forum Prawicy Demokratycznej). Chairman: Aleksander Hall. 27 MPs (including representatives of some other small parties). A mobile chairman who has been member of so many political factions that we lost count.
KLD - Kongres Liberalno-Demokratyczny (Liberal Democratic Congress). Chairman: Donald Tusk. 52 MPs (including some other small parties with similar sympathies). Mixed program; the party espouses energetic advocacy of free market capitalism but has been heard of little in recent months.
KPN - Konfederacja Polski Niepodleglej (Confederation for Independent Poland). Chairman: Leszek Moczulski. 46 MPs. Unpredictable and mostly obstructionist, at this point; it is unclear which way it is going, left or right.
PSL-PL - Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe-Porozumienie Ludowe (Polish Farmers' Union - Farmers' Coalition). Chairman: Gabriel Janowski. 17 MPs. A splinter group from the PSL; it repudiated PSL's roots in People's Poland. A farmers' lobby.
UD - FKL Unia Demokratyczna - Frakcja Konserwatywno-Liberalna (Democratic Union - Liberal Conservative Faction). Chairman: Tadeusz Syryjczyk. A splinter group between PK and UD). Possibly an ego trip.
UD - Unia Demokratyczna (Democratic Union). Chairman: Tadeusz Mazowiecki. A social democratic party, very Politically Correct. 57 MPs.
PSL - Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe (Polish Farmers' Union). Chairman: Waldemar Pawlak. 50 MPs. A revamped farmers' organization with roots in Soviet-occupied Poland where it existed as an "independent" party. A farmer's lobby that would like the state to give farmers all kinds of guarantees.
UD-FSL - Unia Demokratyczna-Frakcja Spoleczno-Liberalna (Democratic Union - Social Liberal Faction). Chairwoman: Zofia Kuratowska. Openly anti-clerical.
UP - Unia Pracy (Union of Labor). Chairman: Ryszard Bugaj. 6 MPs. Social democratic. One of its leaders, Zbigniew Bujak, presides over the drive to change through a referendum Poland's anti-abortion law, which took effect March 16, 1993.
SdRP - Socjaldemokracja Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Social Democracy of the Polish Republic). Chairman: Aleksander Kwasniewski. 58 MPs (including those elected by the communist labor unions). A makeover of the former Communist Party.
Other MPs represent Solidarnosc (26 MPs); the German minority coalition (7 MPs); and other parties (17 MPs).
Some other parties:
ChDSP - Chrzescijansko-Demokratyczne Stronnictwo Pracy (Christian Democratic Labor Association)
FChD - Forum Chrzescijansko-Demokratyczne (Christian Democratic Forum)
KR - Koalicja Republikanska (Republican Coalition)
PPG - Polski Program Gospodarczy (Polish Economic Program)
PPN - Polska Partia Niepodleglosciowa (Polish Independence Party)
PPS - Polska Partia Socjalistyczna (Polish Socialist Party)
SLCh - Stronnictwo Ludowo-Chrzescijanskie (Christian Farmers' Association)
WiP - Wolnosc i Pokoj (Freedom and Peace)
Conference on Reunited Europe
The Charles de Gaulle University in Lille, France, will host a conference devoted to Culture and Economy in Reunited Europe at the end of the XXth Century (Culture et Economie dans la Grande Europe de la fin du XX-ieme Siecle). The Conference will take place on 25-26 November 1993 and will concentrate on European Federalism. Papers will be given by professors from European universities, east and west, and will deal with the various forms of federalism in the world including the American. Write to Mme (Prof.) Annie Allain, Language Etrangeres Appliquees Université Charles de Gaulle Lille III, 14 place Bodart Timal, BP 447, 59058 ROUBAIX , FRANCE for Conference program and more information.
Volunteers Needed to Work in Poland
Citizens Democracy Corps, Inc., places volunteers to serve in its two volunteer programs to Poland: Business Entrepreneur and Citizen Volunteer. In the Business Entrepreneur Program, retired American entrepreneurs may contribute their time and expertise. In the Citizen Volunteer Program, volunteers are placed with organizations and schools which match their skills most closely. In both programs, the Polish host provides housing, local transportation, and translation services. The CDC provides international airfare. Contact: Jon Fitch, 1-800-394-1945 or Michael Honegger, 202-872-0933.
Good News on Periodicals
Tygodnik Solidarnosc is now available in the Current Periodicals Room at Rice University's Fondren Library. Kultura, Przeglad Historyczny and several other periodicals from Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary are also available. It took a great deal of knocking but finally it has been opened unto us. Colleagues from other universities who complain about the scarcity of east European periodicals in their libraries might want to invest a few hours of their time to start a collection. Szwede Slavic Books at Stanford is one of the reliable agents for East and Central European periodicals.
The Single Mother's Home
in Laski near Warsaw is run by the St. Albert Chmielowski Society. The management and residents of this Home need outside contributions in Polish zlotys or in dollars. Their address:
Dom Samotnej Matki im. Sw. Alberta Chmielowskiego
ul. Brzozowa 31
05-081 Laski Warszawskie, Poland
Pro-Life Vote in Poland
On 7 January 1993, the lower House of the Sejm voted 213 for, 171 against, 29 abstentions on the bill abolishing abortion on demand introduced in Soviet-controlled Poland in 1956. Half of the members of Unia Demokratyczna voted against the bill, as did 12 members of Zjednoczenie Chrzescijansko-Narodowe - the latter because the bill was not radical enough, in their view. Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej (the renamed Communist Party) voted against the bill. On 30 January 1993 the bill passed the Senate (35 for, 34 against, 20 abstentions). The breakdown by party was similar. On 14 February 1993, President Lech Walesa signed the bill. It became law on 16 March 1993. The bill says that abortions are not permitted except in case of incest, rape, immediate danger to mother's health, and proven fetus deformation. Only doctors or persons performing abortions will be penalized; mothers will not. Penalties may include suspension of license and up to two years in prison. (Sources: UPI wire, RFE/RL Report, Donosy)
The NCAS statistics on American universities suggest that by the year 2000, 43% of Slavic and east European area faculty will retire, and 40% of these will not be replaced. Colleagues who fall in this category might do well to start thinking of how not to leave a folding chair behind.