The outcome of the Polish election of September, 1993, represented victory for the successor parties of the old regime and defeat for Solidarity's heirs, for the Polish right, and for President Wafęsa. Major explanatory factors include the electoral system, deliberately designed to prevent the parliamentary fragmentation of 1991-1993, and the particular nature of political parties in the early period of post-communist politics. The large vote for the successor parties is attributable to a reaffirmation of welfare-state values and the desire for “reform with a human face,” as well as to the intense fragmentation of the right-wing post-Solidarity parties. However, the emergence of a majority coalition government cannot guarantee either the consolidation of the party system or a period of stable, effective government.

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