Polish leftists seek referendum on US missile base

September 8th, 2008 - 12:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Warsaw, Sep 8 (RIA Novosti) Poland’s Alliance of the Democratic Left (SLD) has called for a national referendum on the deployment of a US missile defence base in the country, according to a party spokesman. “The SLD will insist on parliamentary debates and demand that the government and the president inform us about their talks with the US and how the US missile would help Poland and the Poles,” said Tomasz Kalita Sunday.

The deal to place 10 interceptor missiles as part of a US missile shield in Poland by 2013 was reached in mid-August a month after the Czech Republic and the US signed an agreement for setting up a radar in the East European country.

SLD is the largest leftist party in Poland and has 55 seats in the 460-member lower house of Polish parliament.

“If our proposal does not gain enough support in parliament, we are ready to start gathering citizens’ signatures all over the country to conduct a national referendum (on US base issue),” Kalita said.

According to recent public opinion polls, over 66 percent of residents near the Redzikovo military base in northern Poland, where the interceptor missiles are to be placed, are against the deployment of the US base in the region.

Russian officials earlier said Moscow could deploy its Iskander tactical missiles and strategic bombers in Belarus and Russia’s westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad if Washington succeeded in its missile shield plans in Europe. Moscow also warned it could target its missiles on Poland.

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