Poland's drive for mass privatization and further economic reforms will likely remain stymied until its first free parliamentary elections are held on Oct. 27. Facing a looming collapse of state industry, Prime Minister Jan Krzystof Bielecki requested special powers to bypass the legislature for several months and pass laws, including a new industrial policy, by decree. But on Sept. 14, Parliament narrowly failed to grant the two-thirds majority needed to approve the request. The special powers would also have expanded the mandate of President Lech Walesa.

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