Communists in Poland Get Boost : Mazowiecki to Give 'Our New Partners' More Cabinet Seats

Times Staff Writer

Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who is expected to be confirmed today as prime minister of Poland, said Wednesday that he intends to broaden the first Solidarity-led government by appointing more than two Communists to the Cabinet.

"Our new partners must not feel like secondary partners," Mazowiecki told a meeting of Solidarity deputies in the National Assembly, acknowledging Communist demands for a larger role in his government.

In a clear note of conciliation, Mazowiecki conceded that an angry Communist Party could sabotage Solidarity's reform efforts.

'Would Be a Trap'

"The Communist Party in total negation would be a trap for the country," he said. "No opposition in the world that . . . has the army and the security services . . . remains the opposition."

Under the arrangement arrived at by Solidarity leader Lech Walesa and President Wojciech Jaruzelski, the Communists were guaranteed control of the two Cabinet ministries--Defense and Interior--that control the military and the police. There are about 20 major Cabinet posts to be filled. The Communists' parliamentary majority vanished last week when Walesa lured their former coalition partners, the United Peasants' and Democratic parties, into the Solidarity camp. Jaruzelski then gave the green light for the formation of a Solidarity government and the Communists, for the first time in 45 years, were forced to bargain with the opposition for a role in government.

Solidarity, after elections in June, rejected Communist appeals to join a "grand coalition" headed by the Communists. On Wednesday, Mazowiecki spoke of the need for a "broad coalition."

"One cannot today form a government in Poland other than a broad coalition having the support of all forces sitting in the Sejm (the lower house of Parliament)," he said.

Mazowiecki's gesture Wednesday followed the unusual step by the Communists of making public a telephone conversation between Mieczyslaw Rakowski, first secretary of the Polish Communist Party, and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

According to party spokesmen here, Gorbachev told Rakowski that it is impossible to have a government without Communists.

The party spokesmen said that in a "friendly conversation" that lasted 40 minutes, Gorbachev "expressed confidence that the Polish (Communist) party would successfully solve the social and economic problems in the interest of socialism and voiced the conviction that solving these problems is impossible without the Polish United Workers' (Communist) Party."

Gorbachev's words, as quoted by party officials here, appeared to stop short of a directive. But it is generally believed here that Jaruzelski's agreement on the formation of a Solidarity government could not have come without Gorbachev's assent. In that light, Solidarity leaders could be expected to weigh carefully Gorbachev's views on the Polish situation. His comments to Rakowski were the first attributed to him on the shift in power.

Mazowiecki did not indicate how many Cabinet seats he might give the Communists, but some deputies in the Sejm said Tuesday that the party is pushing for the post of deputy prime minister plus three or four ministries.

In addition, the Communists are trying to retain control of state radio and television. This is likely to generate heated contention, because Solidarity's activists are equally eager to get the Communists out of executive positions in radio and television.

What Mazowiecki said Wednesday may be read partly as a response to Gorbachev and pressure from the Communists, but it also reflects the moderate core of the Solidarity leadership, which he represents.

Solidarity moderates have cautioned that change in Poland should come about "not by revolution but by evolution" and have urged a gradual transition from the Communist system. And although the change to a Solidarity-led government is taking place peacefully, a sharp upending of power alignments could bring difficulties for Solidarity.

Inexperienced in Governing

Solidarity moderates have been saying since the elections in June that they are inexperienced in running a government. Some have expressed concern that Communist bureaucrats, faced with political and professional oblivion, could obstruct the new government.

On the other hand, some of them argue, the reform-minded elements of the party could be helpful.

Mazowiecki touched on the issue in his remarks to the Solidarity deputies. He said there would be "no witch hunts" by his government and that the criteria for employment would be "competence and loyalty to the new government."

Mazowiecki said he had Jaruzelski's assurance that army and security forces would cooperate with Solidarity. He said "there is a feeling of danger" within those forces that must not be aggravated if the democratization of Poland is to be successful.

"This is political wisdom not to increase this feeling of danger and not to create a feeling of aggression," he said.

Mazowiecki spent most of Wednesday meeting with Solidarity leaders and representatives of the United Peasants' and Democratic parties. The discussions centered on appointments to the new government. The United Peasants' Party is hoping for at least four ministries and the Democrats for two.

Mazowiecki told the Solidarity group Wednesday that he hopes to have the government organized within a week.

GORBACHEV PRAISED--Bush salutes Soviet Leader's Poland advice. Page 25

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