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New Cabinet OKd by Polish Parliament

Associated Press

Poland’s Parliament approved a new, Communist-dominated Cabinet on Friday, almost one month after the previous government resigned amid charges of mishandling the nation’s reform program.

Premier Mieczyslaw Rakowski had reserved four spots in his government for what he termed the “constructive opposition,” but he said the unidentified candidates for the posts turned them down.

However, Rakowski insisted that Poland will be able to achieve political reform without participation of the outlawed Solidarity trade union.

“I don’t limit democratization to the recognition of Solidarity. I don’t think that the restoration of Solidarity may be proof of the fact that our country is becoming more democratic,” he said at his first news conference as premier.

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Rakowski made his remarks at a 90-minute session broadcast live on national radio just after Poland’s Parliament, the Sejm, approved the new Cabinet by a 363-1 vote.

A new generation of young party members whom Rakowski nominated Thursday assumed posts to oversee economic affairs, but senior Communist Party members retained the key Interior, Defense and Foreign ministry posts.

Rakowski bumped several senior officials responsible for the government’s failing economic reform program.

Rakowski was approved Sept. 27 to replace Zbigniew Messner, whose Cabinet resigned Sept. 19.

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