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article imagePoland's opposition leader blames gov't hate rhetoric for assault

By Kamil Zawadzki     Oct 19, 2010 in World
A 62-year-old man with a vendetta against Polish opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and his conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party reportedly stormed into a PiS office in Lodz and killed a party employee, wounding at least one other office worker.
According to BusinessWeek, Marek Rosiak has been detained by local law enforcement as a suspect in the attack, which PiS blames on a hate propaganda by their rival and leader of Poland's current government, Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his Civic Platform (PO) party, which rules with the smaller agrarian Polish Peasant Party (PSL).
“What happened is a result of the great campaign of hate that is being waged against Law & Justice,” Kaczynski said at a news conference with Polish TVN24.
Kaczynski attributed dismissive comments made by Tusk and colleagues as early as 2005 about "mohair berets" worn by elderly supporters of PiS as the beginnings of the alleged hate campaign. Kaczynski is the surviving twin of the late former President Lech Kaczynski who died in a plane crash in western Russia, an even that has been a rallying point for PiS supporters and allies.
Kaczynski himself has repeatedly criticized the ruling PO-PSL coalition for not doing enough to guarantee a fair and thorough investigation of the plane crash which killed almost 100 people, all highly-placed in Poland's government, cultural, and military establishments.
PiS has also suggested the possibility of collusion between Tusk and the Russian government and possibly conspiracies to rid themselves of President Kaczynski, who vetoed multiple agendas and bills put forth by the PO-PSL government, and replace him with a friendlier, allied head of state.
The late president's twin and leader of PiS campaigned in the snap presidential election in the summer, but lost in a two-candidate run-off against PO candidate Bronislaw Komorowski despite adopting a more balanced, centrist and conciliatory tone during his run for office. Since then, Kaczynski has resumed verbal sparring matches with Tusk, and legislators from both parties followed suit with strong rhetoric on political talk shows.
Support for PiS reached a high point during Kaczynski's run for office and the beginnings of controversy over a makeshift memorial and its place in front of the presidential palace, but has also fallen according to a poll by the Center for Public Research. The Oct.7-13 survey suggested that voter support for PiS has slipped to 23 percent, similar to that a month before the plane crash and one of PiS's worst showings yet, compared to PO's 39 percent.
In response to Kaczynski's allegations, Prime Minister Tusk has called for an end to the "atmosphere of antagonism" that permeated the rivalry between PO and PiS.
“I’d like to ask of all participants in public life, without exception, that political emotions take second place to serious reflection and to determination that this kind of situation won’t recur,” Tusk said at a separate news conference.
The man apprehended reportedly told law enforcement that he had planned to kill Kaczynski himself, but he "didn't have a big enough gun."
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