POLAND: Implications of Party Elections
The reoent Polish party elections, which selected, delegatee to the party oongress next week, also suae sweeping ohangee in the lower level party bureaucracy. The new local leaders witl be more vigorous in defending regional interests and this will intensify the increasingly pluralistic political process. They will enjoy more legitimacy, however, and thusreater chance of eueeeeethan their predecessors in grappling with the country's problems. mwj
The election caused major changes in the provincial party organisations. About half of therovincial party leadersast majority of the members ofexecutive committees were turned out of office. Only two provincial first secretaries have held office since the last congress in MM
These key organizations are probably now commanded by younger, better educated people who are more dynamic than their predecessors. They are committedew style of party work and to solving local problems, and have substantial credibility with the rank and file. At least one new first secretary belongs to Solidarity, fff
Diffusion of Power
This infusion of newhrough democraticwill significantly change internal party dynamics. The central party apparatus will have more difficultyits authority. Individual national leaders will have less secure power bases, and provincial leaders will have greater control over local affairs and greater Impact on national level politicking and decisionmaking. mmj
The new leaders may share party leader Kania'soutlook, but few are obligated to him or to any other national leval politician. Many probablytronger commitment to their local constituencies, which
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In the new spirit of accountability could move quickly to recall thorn. Thoae contending for power at the national level will have to seek the iDupoat of tho uncommitted provincial organizationa.
Probloma of Parochialism
Provincial loaders are likely to be most concerned about local problems, aggreaaive in defending parochial intereste, and willing to uae initiative in tackline -heir problems. This will lead to an upsurge of localism that will Intensify disputes and delay decisions on some notional issues, particularly resource allocation,
This situation also will leadiversification or political and economic practices throughout tho Economic decentralization will in turn reinforce tho new sonse of provincialism.
Moreover, the provincial leadership will force the center to be more dynamic and to make decisions that it might have previously tried to avoid. Successful local initiatives will challenge national policies ond propel competent provincial officials into the national leadership. MM
The more pragmatic local leaders alao may be able to establish bettor relations with local Church and Solidarity leadeia that go beyond practioeo sanctioned st the national level. The party leader in Gdansk has been particularly successful ln this regard; hie efforts nave been rewarded by greater economic efficiency and less labor strife than exists in moat provinces. MW
The national leadership will have problems reining In these provincial forces. In trying to do so, it can exploit the inexperience of tho new leaders and derive soroo advantage from the still stronq centralist traditions. MM
At the same time, however, it will have to work hard to keep the support of local party officials and may have to contend with ooalitions of provincial party The center will be unable to remove,oncooporative provincial leader, especially if he has strong local support.Original document.