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Center-Right Poised To Take Power In Poland

26 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Center-right parties in Poland are expected to start talks on forming a new government following the rejection by voters of the ruling left-wing cabinet.

Electoral authorities say that that with 30 percent of the 25 September general-election vote counted so far, the Law and Justice party conservatives had nearly 26 percent, followed by their pro-business allies the Civic Platform with 23 percent.

The two parties, which have their roots in Poland's Solidarity movement, look set to together have some 260 seats in the 460-member lower house of parliament.

The governing Democratic Left Alliance, tarnished by corruption scandals, was lagging behind with some 11 percent of the vote.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice party, has already claimed a mandate to become prime minister. He told supporters the vote showed Poles are ready for his party's program, which includes an attack on corruption.

"We won as a party, but more important we won as a program, as a certain idea for Poland," Kaczynski said.

Voter turnout was put at less than 40 percent.

The result conforms to the pattern in which no Polish government since the collapse of communism 16 years ago has won reelection.