English Section

Ruling party leader says opposition’s election victory would take Poland 'backwards'

03.10.2023 07:30
If opposition parties win this month's parliamentary elections, they will “fight among themselves” in government and take Poland "backwards," the leader of the country’s ruling conservatives has said. 
Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Polands ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.
Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland's ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party. Photo: PAP/Piotr Polak

Jarosław Kaczyński, who heads the governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, made the comment in a television interview on Monday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The conservative leader told state broadcaster TVP Info: “We guarantee a stable government. We’ve demonstrated this over the past eight years, while opposition parties will fight among themselves in government.” 

He said a Cabinet made up of today’s opposition groupings would also run into disputes with the president, the central bank and the Constitutional Tribunal, "among others."

Kaczyński, who serves as deputy prime minister, stated that as a result, “the country will go backwards when it comes to standard of living.” 

He argued that opposition leader Donald Tusk, who was prime minister from 2007 to 2014, presided over “unjust and inefficient policies” and “a dependence on outside actors, such as Germany and Russia.”

Kaczyński declared that his party did not seek to "take Poland out of the European Union," but wanted the bloc to change, as at the moment “EU treaties … are very often breached, in relation to our country, as well as other countries.”

He added that the EU must “respect the rights of nations and the rights of countries.”

Kaczyński said that Poland’s opposition parties, including the centrist Civic Coalition (KO) led by Tusk, were in favour of the EU’s proposed new migration pact, including the sharing out of asylum seekers among member states.

He added that, under the plan, the EU’s executive Commission would distribute migrants among member states, which would have “no say” and be required to pay at least EUR 20,000 for every migrant they refused to admit.

Kaczyński warned that if Poland opened its borders to asylum seekers, their numbers would increase “like in the West” and cited the example of Finland, where he said the number of migrants from Somalia "rose from an initial 300 to 30,000."

The conservative leader also mentioned the threat to Poland’s national security posed by the war in neighbouring Ukraine. 

He said the conflict “could spread” and in that case Poland must be prepared “to win a war, mainly by our own means,” adding that the government was making “big steps” to ensure this, the PAP news agency reported.

In August, Poland's lawmakers approved a government plan to combine the October 15 parliamentary elections with a nationwide referendum on issues including illegal migration.

Voters will head to the ballot box on October 15 to elect 460 new MPs and 100 senators for a four-year term.

The ruling conservative Law and Justice party and its government coalition allies have maintained a clear lead over the opposition in most recent surveys, polling ahead of the centrist Civic Coalition (KO), the far-right Confederation group, and the Third Way coalition of the rural-based Polish People’s Party (PSL) and the centre-right Poland 2050 grouping.

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

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Tuesday is day 587 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP