Solidarity lawmakers, with their new partners in the United Peasants' Party and Democratic Party looking on, endorsed a resolution Wednesday night calling for Walesa to be named premier at the head of what would be the first non-Communist government in the East Bloc.
Earlier Wednesday, the United Peasants and Democratic parties voted to abandon their alliance with the Communists that began 40 years ago and to join forces with Solidarity.
Jaruzelski to Get Plan
The new coalition intends to present its plan today to President Wojciech Jaruzelski, who retains the power to nominate the premier.
One Solidarity lawmaker, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said there are indications--but no firm assurances--that Jaruzelski will agree to the plan if it carries the approval of the three parties.
"We must take some risks," Kaczynski said.
During the day, Walesa appeared to give out conflicting signals as to whether he would serve as premier of a new government. Before the Solidarity vote, Walesa told the delegates of all three parties, meeting in the main chamber of the Sejm, or lower house of Parliament, that he would accept the post. "I never dreamed that Lech Walesa could be premier," he said. "I never even imagined it."
Early today, however, he was quoted as saying, "I will not be premier," and adding, "There are better people than Walesa" for the job. But to complicate matters further, he added that he had not yet made his final decision.
Walesa was greeted with loud applause as he arrived at the meeting from his home in Gdansk. In a brief speech, he said the choice to enter government was a difficult one, "but there is no other one, and we must undertake it. . . . We came here to change Poland."
Nod of Gratitude
He gave a special nod of gratitude to "our elder friends from the Peasants' Party and Democratic Party" who earlier in the day had voted to endorse his proposal to form a Solidarity-led coalition.
"Together we will teach the (Communist Party) pluralism, freedom and listening to others," he said.
However, it remained uncertain whether the Communists, reeling from setback to setback in the rush of political events, would turn over control of the government. Communist lawmakers, in a separate meeting, appointed a group to formulate a stand on the question, and there were signs of growing resistance from Communist Party leaders. There was continuing uncertainty as well over the reaction of the Soviet Union to the possibility of a Solidarity government in Poland.
Communist Party leader Mieczyslaw F. Rakowski, in what was described as an emotional speech before a closed meeting of Communist members of the Sejm, accused Walesa of violating the spirit of the "round-table" accords signed in April. Those accords, signed by the government and the opposition, re-legalized Solidarity and endorsed measures aimed at pulling Poland out of its political and economic crisis.
"We have entered a period of an open fight for power," Rakowski said, according to the official Polish news agency PAP. He urged the party to stand firm. "The situation is dangerous," he said, "but it is not time to put up our hands."
Solidarity deputy Aleksander Paczynski opened the joint caucus of the new opposition coalition, whose 264 votes should control the 460-member Sejm, with two proposals certain to raise even more Communist alarm. He called for a renegotiation of the round-table accords to bring about new and fully free elections in two years instead of four, as the accords now state. And he proposed shifting control of the Communist-run state television and radio to the Parliament.
Through such "spectacular, quick decisions," Paczynski said, a Solidarity government led by Walesa would ease public anger and impatience and demonstrate that substantive changes are under way. The round-table accords should be renegotiated, he said, because neither side should be bound by agreements "reached in a different time, in a different situation and under different circumstances."
The resolution passed by Solidarity lawmakers said that the "parliamentary coalition of the Peasants' Party, the Democratic Party and Solidarity is capable of forming a government of national responsibility under the leadership of Lech Walesa in which all political forces of our country could be represented, all forces which are determined to act in favor of political and economic reform."