Lech Walesa appealed Tuesday to supporters of Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki to help him stop a ``dangerous' outsider from becoming Poland's president.
One of Walesa's sharpest critics agreed. ``Today (Walesa) is the only candidate worth considering,' wrote Editor Adam Michnik, a veteran Solidarity activist and perhaps Walesa's most determined political foe.``A victory by Walesa would involve high risk for Poland. But a victory by (Stanislaw) Tyminski would bring the absolute certainty of extreme degradation,' Michnik said in a front-page editorial in Gazeta Wyborza, the country's largest newspaper.
The election success Sunday of the wealthy emigre businessman Tyminski denied Walesa an absolute majority triumph and eliminated Mazowiecki from the Dec. 9 presidential runoff.
The East bloc's first non-Communist prime minister then announced late Monday he would resign along with his 15-month-old government.
Tyminski, who had only just returned from a 21-year sojourn in Peru and Canada, mounted a free-spending campaign characterized by sharp attacks on the government and promises of quick economic improvement.
At a news conference in Warsaw, the dark-horse candidate praised Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski's 1981 imposition of martial law to crush Solidarity. He said the country at the time was under ``unusual danger' from within.
Walesa asked Mazowiecki backers during a news conference at Solidarity headquarters in Gdansk to help him defeat Tyminski.
``We are doomed to be together,' the Solidarity chairman said. ``We should pull this common Polish wagon together.'
Walesa polled 40 percent of the electorate Sunday compared to 23 percent for Tyminski and 18 for Mazowiecki.