Polish Deputy Prime Minister Andrzej Lepper sacked

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007 File:Andrzej Lepper.jpg

Andrzej Lepper
Image: Błażej Pajda.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Andrzej Lepper, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, was sacked on Monday over a corruption investigation.

Jarosław Kaczyński, the current Prime Minister, explained the reasons of dismissal in an interview for public television channel TVP1:

There are serious reasons to believe they [members of Lepper's party] may have been involved in criminal activities.

Kaczyński was referring to two people arrested by the Central Anticorruption Bureau on Friday. One of them, Andrzej R., told the Bureau that he was linked with Lepper. It is widely rumoured that a bribe in the amount of 3 million złoty was involved.

Mr. Lepper insist he is innocent, but he also told news-channel TVN24 that the coalition is over. Lepper is the leader of the {{w|Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland]] party, which is the second largest in the government coalition.

I am not going back into this government.

The coalition's break-up means that there is no majority in the Polish parliament at the moment. Self-Defence has 46 deputies in the 460-seat Sejm, the lower house of the Parliament. However, it may not mean early elections – the Opposition has too few votes to dissolve the Parliament.

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