Walesa taps choice for prime minister


WARSAW, Poland -- President Lech Walesa nominated yesterday Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, a little-known 39-year-old economist with a background in private business, for the post of prime minister.

The selection underscored Mr. Walesa's commitment to Poland's ambitious program for fostering a free-market economy.

Mr. Bielecki, a member of Parliament who once worked in the Solidarity underground, is said by associates to support the fastest possible privatization of the country's businesses and industries.

It took the previous government nearly a year to begin selling off the first seven of the more than 7,000 state-run companies in Poland.

The nomination of Mr. Bielecki must be confirmed by Parliament.

If confirmed in a vote expected next week, Mr. Bielecki would succeed Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who resigned as prime minister after beingdefeated for the presidency by Mr. Walesa, who took office on Dec. 22.

Mr. Walesa's first candidate for prime minister, Jan Olszewski, last week abandoned his efforts to assemble a government because of disagreements with the president over its proposed makeup.

Mr. Bielecki is expected to submit his Cabinet choices to Parliament next week as well.

The remainder of the government has yet to be announced, but in light of Mr. Bielecki's nomination it appeared clear yesterday that Leszek Balcerowicz, the current finance minister and architect of the economic program, would retain his position.

But there was speculation that several of Mr. Bielecki's colleagues from the Liberal Democratic Congress might also receive top economic posts.

The organization was formed in the last years of communism to promote free-market economics and private enterprise.

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