Poland may relent over election observers

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WARSAW, Sep 25 (Reuters) Poland will consider letting in observers from Europe's main security watchdog to monitor its October. 21 parliamentary election if the OSCE ''changes the tone'' of its request, Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said today.

Last week, Poland said it would not allow observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor the poll, saying it was a mature democracy and the OSCE request was a ''faux pas''.

But after criticism from the opposition and rights groups, Kaczynski said the decision may be changed.

''If the OSCE changes the tone of its note, then we may think about it,'' he told a news conference.

The OSCE monitors election in many European countries, including established democracies like Switzerland, France and Belgium.

Commentators said by rejecting the observers, Poland was undermining its position in the European Union and the world.

''We will consider it because we don't want to create problems where they don't actually exist,'' Kaczynski said.

The OSCE said Poland's rejection of its observers was an unprecedented act in an EU state.

Poland, a post-communist country, is holding the election after Kaczynski's coalition with two populist and nationalist parties collapsed.

Kaczynski and his identical twin brother Lech, who is Poland's president, have been accused by critics of abusing the state apparatus to spy on and discredit their political rivals.


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