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Steady stream of Poles went to polls Sunday

A steady stream of voters took part Sunday in Poland's first national elections since the Solidarity crisis, despite appeals by underground leaders of the banned free trade union for a boycott.

A march called by Solidarity activists in Warsaw in support of free elections did not materialize although masses preached at churches by priests known for their opposition to communism were more heavily attended than usual. More than 110,000 local and provincial council seats were involved in the balloting.

The official PAP news agency reported several hours after voting began that the turnout was higher than the authorities expected in some regions, including Gdansk, where opposition to communist rule is strong.

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