As we saw in the previous chapter, it was originally agreed by the old Volkskammer that Western-style elections to a new Volkskammer would take place on 6 May 1990. As the population haemorrhage continued daily, public services of all kinds - medical, local government, mail, schools and colleges, transport - came under increasing pressure. Even private services - shops and handicrafts - were becoming less reliable. In general, absentee­ ism was growing. The Stasi was being disbanded and in the armed services discipline was weakening. The deteriorating situation made it urgent to carry through elections as soon as possible to give hope of better things to come. On 28 January Modrow and the representatives of the ‘Round Table’ agreed that they should be integrated into the government and that the new elections should take place on 18 March. How prepared were the parties for such early elections?