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Two Polish opposition parties reaffirm alliance ahead of elections

06.08.2023 11:30
Two Polish opposition groupings have reaffirmed their coalition agreement ahead of parliamentary elections in the autumn, aiming to offer voters an alternative to the existing political options.
Photo:PAP/Marcin Obara

The centre-right Poland 2050 grouping and the rural-based Polish People’s Party (PSL) reaffirmed the deal on Saturday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

In mid-May, Poland 2050 leader Szymon Hołownia and PSL chief Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz told a news conference in Warsaw that their groups would contest the elections together as "The Third Way - Poland 2050 and PSL" electoral alliance.

Hołownia said on Saturday: "It has been decided, signed and voted through by acclamation ... to confirm that Poland 2050 and the PSL will contest these elections together. It is very good news that, despite all the problems and difficulties that have arisen along the way, we have managed to negotiate a good, transparent, clear and open coalition agreement."

Speaking at a joint news conference with Kosiniak-Kamysz, Hołownia added that "the deal between Poland 2050 and the PSL was made for those who want to have someone to vote for, without having to choose between the well-established political duopoly."

He was referring to the two most powerful political groups in the country, the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party and the opposition Civic Platform (PO), which was in government from 2007 to 2015.

Kosiniak-Kamysz told reporters that "the Third Way is a fact."

He said: "We will apply for the registration of the Third Way Coalition Election Committee as soon as President Andrzej Duda announces the date of the elections."

'The Third Way'

Hołownia has previously said "the Third Way is an authentic way towards something different than how things were before 2015. There is no going back to how things were before 2015.”

He added: “Times have changed and the challenges are totally different."

Meanwhile, the PSL's Kosiniak-Kamysz said: ”The Third Way offers a greater good, not the lesser evil.”

He added that the Third Way electoral alliance “offers an alternative to those who are running Poland today and leading the country astray … sometimes right into the abyss.”

Kosiniak-Kamysz has described the PSL’s team-up with Poland 2050 as “Poland’s oldest and youngest parties joining forces.” 

Hołownia has argued that Polish opposition groups must avoid forming a single electoral alliance to stand a chance of defeating the ruling conservatives at the ballot box. 

"We’ll only remove PiS from power if people are allowed to make a choice” between various opposition groupings, he said.

Szymon Hołownia and Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz hold a joint news conference in Warsaw on Monday. Szymon Hołownia and Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz during a joint news conference in Warsaw in May. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

Poland 2050, PSL team up

In late April, Poland 2050 and the PSL said they were joining forces ahead of parliamentary elections in a move aiming to bolster their appeal to voters.

The announcement came after the two groups in March launched a joint tour of the country ahead of the autumn’s elections, promoting “a shared list of 21 policy issues” they pledged to resolve after taking power. 

The "21 policy issues" include "reducing the influence of party officials over the state," restoring the rule of law, increasing pay for teachers, and relaxing abortion rules, followed by a referendum on abortion rights, the PAP news agency reported. 

Meanwhile, Poland’s governing conservatives in March launched an effort to win a third consecutive term in power, starting a nationwide tour to rally voters ahead of the elections and promising a raft of new policies “to make Poland stronger and secure.”

The ruling conservatives in 2019 won a convincing victory over opposition parties at the ballot box, securing a second term in power.

They maintained a majority in the 460-seat lower house, but narrowly lost control of the 100-seat upper house, the Senate.

The next general election is scheduled for this autumn. The exact date will be set by President Andrzej Duda, with October 15 the earliest constitutionally possible date, according to news outlets.

As it stands, the Polish opposition appears to be set to enter the parliamentary election race divided into three separate blocs.

In February, Poland’s four main opposition parties, including Poland 2050 and the PSL, agreed to join forces in the race for the Senate, the upper house.

The upper house is less powerful than the lower chamber, but it can delay or amend legislation. The Sejm, the lower house, needs to muster an absolute majority to override Senate amendments.


Source: IAR, PAP/PAP