- Title: POLAND: Poland's Kaczynski suffers court setback before presidential poll
- Date: 17th June 2010
- Summary: WARSAW, POLAND (JUNE 15, 2010) (REUTERS) COURT BUILDING VARIOUS OF KACZYNSKI GIVING EVIDENCE IN COURT PROSECUTION LAWYERS CONSULTING PROSECUTION LAWYER TALKING JUDGE, AGNIESZKA MATLAK BEHIND SCREEN DEFENDANT AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, JAROSLAW KACZYNSKI LISTENING TO COURT WARSAW, POLAND (RECENT) (REUTERS) JAROSLAW KACZYNSKI POSTER KACZYNSKI signature ON POSTER WARSAW STREET WARSAW, POLAND (JUNE 16, 2010) (REUTERS) JUDGE AGNIESZKA MATLAK LISTENING TO STATEMENT MEDIA MATLAK READING OUT THE VERDICT COURT OFFICIAL (SOUNDBITE) (POLISH) REPRESENTATIVE OF LAW AND JUSTICE (PiS) ELECTION COMMITTEE, STANISLAW KOSTRZEWSKI, SAYING: "We have always hoped that people would be able to differentiate between words and deeds" PEOPLE IN THE STREET
- Embargoed: 2nd July 2010 13:00
- Location: Poland
- Country: Poland
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVADPCWYJPBDXG8A9I606AWMIPBH
- Story Text: Polish presidential candidate Jaroslaw Kaczynski suffers a setback days before the vote as a court orders him to retract a comment he made about his main rival's plans.
A Polish court on Wednesday (June 16) ordered presidential candidate Jaroslaw Kaczynski to retract a comment he made suggesting his main rival wanted to privatise the public health service.
This was a blow for the right-wing Kaczynski, twin brother of Poland's late president Lech Kaczynski, who is trailing Bronislaw Komorowski, the candidate of Poland's economically liberal ruling party Civic Platform (PO), in opinion polls ahead of the Sunday election.
Kaczynski had alleged during a rally earlier this month that Komorowski wanted to privatise the health service, a charge he used three years ago against PO before losing a parliamentary election.
Komorowski responded by filing a legal complaint.
"From the evidence material gathered, it can be concluded that the claim made by Jaroslaw Kaczynski (concerning Komorowski's views) is false," judge Agnieszka Matlak ruled on Wednesday.
Matlak said PO wanted to reform but not to privatise the health service. She threw out a counter-complaint from Kaczynski claiming Komorowski had misrepresented his comments in bringing the case against him.
Kaczynski declined to comment on Wednesday on the ruling.
"We have always hoped that people would be able to differenciate between words and deeds," said Stanislaw Kostrzewski, representtative of Law and Justice (PiS) Election Committee.
In the past, Kaczynski and his brother often accused PO of favouring the wealthy and of ignoring the needs of poorer Poles.
Lech Kaczynski, whose death in a plane crash in Russia in April triggered this month's election, vetoed government plans in 2008 to encourage hospitals to operate on a commercial basis, saying they amounted to privatisation.
Though conservative on moral and social issues, the Law and Justice party (PiS) founded by the Kaczynskis tilts to the left on economic matters, supporting more state spending and opposing PO's privatisations.
The vast majority of Poles still use the state health system, which is known for its bureaucratic inefficiency and lack of transparency.
Latest opinion polls show Komorowski winning Sunday's vote by a margin of up to 14 percentage points but falling short of the 50 percent plus level required to win outright. A second, decisive round would then have to be held on July 4.
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