WARSAW. JULY 11. INTERFAX C.NTRAL EUROPE - Poland's Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski refused Wednesday to disclose evidence in an alleged corruption case involving his former deputy Andrzej Lepper - a condition demanded by Lepper, who is also leader for junior partner Samoobrona (Self-Defense), to stop a Samoobrona pullout from the much troubled government coalition.
"Evidence will be disclosed in the course of an eventual trial," Kaczynski said Wednesday at a press conference in the extreme northwestern seaport city of Swinoujscie, as televised by news channel TVN 24. "I cannot take this kind of condition seriously."
A political crisis erupted late Monday after Kaczynski's surprising decision to sack his deputy and agriculture minister Lepper amidst corruption allegations. The sacking threatens the current Law-and-Justice-led coalition, and early elections are likely in the autumn, according to the prime minister.
Samoobrona, which has 46 MPs, has threatened to deprive the government of a majority unless the Kaczynski-founded PiS meets all obligations in the current coalition contract and unless evidence against Lepper is disclosed by next Friday.
"Samoobrona is staying on in the government without Andrzej Lepper," said Lepper at a press conference Tuesday. "We remain on the same terms, and the [parliamentary] caucus demands that PiS meet all its obligations to us - for it has not to date - and we are demanding the supposed evidence against me is made public by Friday."