In Poland, the illness of the Communist Party leader, Edward Gierek, has added to the country's turmoil.
GV INTERIOR Members of Polish Parliament seated (2 SHOTS)
SV Polish Prime Minister Jozef Pinkowski speaking in Polish
GV PAN Members listening to speech
SV Prime Minister Pinkowski continues speaking in Polish
GV Members listening (2 SHOTS)
Reuters said there was no suggestion that Mr. Gierek's illness was a 'diplomatic' one. The agency added that criticising deputies could have already known he was in hospital when they slated press and propaganda policies, economic management, and the way the party has been run.
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Background: In Poland, the illness of the Communist Party leader, Edward Gierek, has added to the country's turmoil. An official communique on Friday (5 September) said he'd been taken to hospital in Warsaw that morning suffering from serious heart trouble. Reuters news agency said his illness raised the possibility that the 67-year-old party boss would have to be replaced. They quoted one parliamentary deputy, who wanted to stay anonymous, as saying a power struggle seemed to be going on behind the scenes.
SYNOPSIS: A communique, signed by five doctors, was read on Friday (5 september) to the 460 deputies at a session of the Polish Parliament (SEOM). But, for most of the day, his absence had gone unexplained. His presence wasn't essential, but he'd been expected to attend this session, for the formal approving of the new Prime Minister, Jozef Pinkowski, seen here addressing the deputies.
Mr. Gierek had spoken to the nation o??? television three times during the recent strikes. But he'd dropped from the public eye since his last broadcast, when he announced the dramatic shake-up in the government. That cabinet resh???uffle fuelled rumours that Mr. Gierek was on his way out, because it brought back to power the man seen as his most likely successor, Stefan Olszowski.
But there were counter-signs that Mr. Gierek would stay in power, at least for the time being. These were the actual resolution of the strikes--despite far-reaching concessions-- and the announcement that Moscow was providing a new and major loan to Poland.
Rumours were expected to begin buzzing anew about his future. Deputies at this sitting had indirectly attacked his party leadership during the past decade.