Poland's ruling party in 'tape scandal'

Poland's ruling Civic Platform has ruled out another internal election for the leadership of Lower Silesia in spite of vote-fixing allegations in connection with illicitly recorded material.


“The national board of Civic Platform upholds the the decisions of the electoral conventions,” confirmed Tomasz Lenz, head of the party in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie region, on Wednesday evening.


Allegations of corruption emerged after an especially tightly fought contest over the weekend for the leadership of the party in the Lower Silesia region.


Losing candidate MP Grzegorz Schetyna, who had led Civic Platform in Lower Silesia for several years and is a former interior minister, received 199 votes in the first round while his rival, MEP Jacek Protasiewicz, won 200.


In the second round Protasiewicz won by 205 votes to 194.


Corruption allegations


Shortly afterwards, the Polish edition of Newsweek published tapes in which Civic Platform MP Norbert Wojnarowski appeared to offer party member Edward Klimka a job at Polish copper company KGHM in return for his support for Protasiewicz.


Klimka has acknowledged that he was offered the job in question shortly after the conversation with Wojnarowski.


Losing candidate Grzegorz Schetyna has denied any involvement with the recordings, after Protasiewicz claimed that the recording was a set-up.


“I am a victim of this situation, because if some votes were shifted [to the other candidate], it's me that lost,” Schetyna told television station TVN.


Meanwhile, Norbert Wojnarowski, Edward Klimka and three other party members have had their Civic Platform membership rights suspended for three months, while the matter is further investigated. (nh/pg)