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The future of Poland's governing coalition is in doubt after a junior member, the Self Defence party, pulled its ministers out of the cabinet. The move was announced by party leader Andrzej Lepper, who was sacked in July by Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, after he was accused of corruption.

Despite the row, Self Defence's two ministers had stayed in the coalition until now.

Without Self Defence's support in parliament, the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) will not have a majority. The PiS has 203 MPs, short of the 231 needed for a majority. Self Defence has 46 MPs.

PiS narrowly won the 2005 general election, but has faced difficulties in implementing its economic reform programme. A dispute over the budget last year also led to Self Defence leaving the coalition, but it was subsequently allowed to rejoin the government.

Mr Lepper told journalists on Sunday that his party's latest withdrawal from the coalition had been approved in a 61-8 party vote. Lepper denies any involvement in the corruption scandal over which he was sacked from the cabinet. It is alleged that millions of dollars were paid in bribes to redesignate agricultural land for commercial use.

6 August 2007


 Last updated: 06/08/2007 10:02:00



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