Parliament Thursday sustained by a narrow margin President Lech Walesa's veto of an electoral law he described as too complicated for Polish voters, threatening the scheduled October date of Poland's first free parliamentary elections.
The vote by the lower house, or Sejm, was 257-123 with 16 abstentions to override Walesa's first veto as president. A two-thirds vote, or 263 of the 397 ballots cast, was required to override the veto.The vote came after two hours of debate in which leaders of the former Communists and their allies urged that the legislation be adopted despite its flaws.
The Sejm then recessed for a meeting of the leadership to determine the next step.
"True enough, the law is complicated and difficult to understand," argued Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz of the post-communist Social Democratic Party. "But not enough to confuse the left and the right."
He and leaders of allied parties warned that postponing passage of the electoral law could mean a postponement of general elections scheduled in October.
Walesa said in his veto message the proposed electoral regulations are too complicated for the average voter, would hinder the development of stable cabinets and lasting parliamentary majorities and discriminated against the Catholic Church and Polish political refugees.