Polish opposition slam EPP chief Tusk’s joint electoral list proposal

Since Monday (16 May), Tusk has been calling on other opposition parties – except for the far-right Confederation – to once again form a joint coalition against the ruling United Right coalition, which is dominated by representatives of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party. [EPA-EFE/Marcin Obara]

Polish opposition parties have rejected the idea of the opposition submitting a joint electoral list for the parliamentary elections in autumn 2023, which was made by the chairman of the centrist Civic Platform and European People’s Party leader Donald Tusk.

Uniting the Polish opposition was first attempted ahead of the 2019 European Parliament elections. At the time, centre and centre-left parties formed the European Coalition, but the constituent parties lost 10 of their MEP seats.

Since Monday (16 May), Tusk has been calling on other opposition parties – except for the far-right Confederation – to once again form a joint coalition against the ruling United Right coalition, which is dominated by representatives of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Tusk’s proposal is based on a recent Ipsos poll indicating that a united opposition could get 50% of the votes if elections were held now. His proposal was backed by liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski and some others.

But leaders of other parties are critical of the idea.

Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, leader of the agrarian Polish People’s Party (PSL), called the poll cited by Tusk “useless”. “This survey has only propaganda value and distorts reality. The poll gives a projected 94% turnout, it makes a mockery of the election,” he said.

Since 2000, the average turnout for parliamentary elections in Poland has been 50.4%.

However, representatives of some opposition parties, including the PSL and the centrist Poland 2050 party, said they are instead in favour of creating two opposition lists, one for the centre-right and one for the centre-left. Their idea is based on a survey conducted by United Surveys, which states that the opposition has the greatest chance of winning if it adopts such a strategy.

Representatives of the left-wing coalition said they “do not rule out any electoral scenario.” While they support close cooperation between opposition parties, they make no secret of the fact that they already have plans of their own for next year’s elections.

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