While Mr Baka was encouraged by the positive reactions in the West to the agreement of Wednesday`s roundtable, he called for measures to undermine. “Now we expect a little rain to fall from these nice clouds.” After difficult negotiations, communist party leaders agreed to hold free elections to the Polish Senate and partially free elections to the lower house of parliament – the Sejm. The agreement resulted in only 35 per cent of Sejm`s mandates through competition campaigns, while the rest was maintained for members of the government coalition. The opposition realized that the elections were not only a price to pay for the relegation of Solidarity, but also a huge opportunity. In the end, the two sides agreed on two rounds of voting. If none of the candidates reached 50% or more in the first round, two candidates with the highest score would face off in the second round. This formula, which was agreed during the negotiations, was a combination of electoral rules known in both democratic and authoritarian regimes. 57 participants will take part in the “roundtables” that were first launched last August but were blocked until the Polish head of state, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, tried to pave the way for the restoration of solidarity last month. The largest delegations come from the government and Solidarity.
Of course, there are many other stories to tell about 1989, especially the stories of those who were not present at the round table, those who felt excluded from what was decided on it. In the coming months, we will examine these exclusions and silences; the conference itself was only the first step in an ambitious research project. But there is no doubt that in 1989, the round table and those sitting around him were at the centre of a storm of historic change. Four exciting days in April, at the University of Michigan, we had the opportunity to see first-hand what this storm was like and to discuss issues of freedom of decision and contingency with the real agents of this change. Meanwhile, Alfred Miodowicz, the Maverik of the Round Table Pack, who was responsible for the farce of Wednesday night`s drama, is pursuing a tactic that insists on undermining the entire historic agreement.