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Polish government refuses to quit over video scandal

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The Polish government said Wednesday it has no plans to quit over a television broadcast Tuesday showing backroom political deal-making between a government official and an MP.
WARSAW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - The Polish government said Wednesday it has no plans to quit over a television broadcast Tuesday showing backroom political deal-making between a government official and an MP.

"The government's resignation is not under consideration," the government's spokesman, Jan Dziedziczak, said.

The national TVN channel broadcast videotape Tuesday night made using a hidden camera that showed Adam Lipinski, state secretary of the office of the prime minister and his political aide, offering Renata Beger, a member of parliament from the Self-Defense party, the post of deputy agriculture minister on condition she join the Law and Justice party led by Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Beger reportedly agreed to be part of the journalistic sting.

The opposition has demanded the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

When a government coalition consisting of the conservative Law and Justice party and the rural Self-Defense party broke up in September 2006 over budget differences and plans to send more troops to Afghanistan, the Law and Justice party began soliciting members of other parliamentary factions in order to secure a majority for a planned no-confidence vote against the government.

The largest faction in the Sejm, Civil Platform, demanded at a news conference an extraordinary government session, a vote on the dissolution of parliament and early elections.

Civil Platform leader Donald Tusk also demanded the resignation of the government.

"This is political corruption, and attempts by senior government officials to buy deputies are immoral," Tusk said, adding that Poland was experiencing a crisis.

Tusk also said he was urging early elections to deter the sort of mass protests that hit another former Communist-bloc country, Hungary, last week.

A European Union member since 2004, and a NATO member since 1999, Poland has succeeded in creating a market economy and attracting foreign investment, but Polish governments have failed to cut unemployment, which is still high, or raise incomes and improve the country's infrastructure.

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