The Polish government has agreed to major political reforms including a democratically elected senate and an elected president under a deal that will bring Solidarity into parliament.
The two sides announced the agreement Thursday as part of a package designed to haul Poland out of social, political and economic crisis."We are now entering a transitional period. We are passing from a one-party state to a state which is the property of the whole nation," Jacek Kuron, a senior adviser to the banned Solidarity trade union, told a news conference.
"One must admit this is a step to democracy, the like of which has never been made before under this system and which has never happened before in (communist) Poland," he said in an interview with state television.
Under the deal, agreed at talks that began Feb. 6, the Communist authorities will stage liberalized elections to the lower house of parliament (Sejm) and create an upper house (senate) and a state presidency.
Solidarity, which will be legalized as part of the overall package along with the independent NZS student union and Rural Solidarity, said it had accepted terms for taking part in elections to both chambers in June.
It said the elections to the 460-member Sejm would not be democratic, but the vote for the 98-member senate would be "fully democratic." Elections have been non-democratic in Poland since World War II.