Polish parties do a deal

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WARSAW (AP) - Former Communists and a peasant party signed a coalition deal yesterday that paves the way for a left-wing government headed by the leader of the peasant party, Waldemar Pawlak.

The Democratic Left Alliance and the Polish Peasant Party, which made big gains in last month's parliamentary elections, said that they would continue the nation's market reforms but promised to improve social security for those suffering from the transition.

Coalition leaders proposed Mr Pawlak, 34, for prime minister. President Lech Walesa is required to appoint the new government head with his cabinet, pending parliament's approval. However, the partners seemed to embark on a collision course with Mr Walesa, who asked the Alliance - which won the most seats last month - for three candidacies for the top job.

He received Mr Pawlak yesterday 'to discuss the situation after forming the coalition'. Mr Walesa previously refused to discuss the new government as long as his request was not met.

The Alliance leader, Aleksander Kwasniewski, said the partners agreed to give Walesa only one candidate because his request was 'not serious'. The new parliament opens tomorrow and Mr Walesa is required to make his choice within two weeks.