PSL (EPP) scored slightly more than 5% in the previous elections, securing 16 seats in the Sejm and consequently becoming the smallest party to pass the threshold. The party, often expected to follow bigger PO (EPP) and Nowoczesna (ALDE) and join a coalition under them, declared it would run in the local elections alone during its recent convention.
It is caused by a belief that PSL is the “leader of self-governing Poland” – currently PSL is a part of the governing coalition in 14 out of 16 voivodeships and has a standalone majority in one. PSL also wants to “enable Poles not to have to pick between PiS and anti-PiS”.
One of the main points of PSL’s programme is decentralisation of Poland. According to the idea, whole VAT income would stay in the hands of the local authorities. Kosiniak-Kamysz, during the convention, also called to end “the tug of war between the Marshall and the Voivode”, stating it was “time to have one host of the region: the voivodeship’s Marshall”. Currently the “host” powers are co-exercised by the Voivode, appointed by the Prime Minister, and the Marshall, elected by the voivodeship’s Sejmik.
Besides sharing his vision of the administration reform, the leader also spent quite a lot of time introducing the party’s ideas for social and family policies. The chief suggestion was to desist from collecting any taxes or dues from pensions and disability benefits, because “the seniors have already paid their share”. Young families were also high on the agenda – they were offered “Land for a złoty”, 1 hour off the workday for parents of children up to 10 years old, and additionally pupils were offered free public transport, free meals in schools and free dental care.
“Down with the divisions!”
In his speech, Kosiniak-Kamysz strived to present PSL as a party willing to make compromises, respecting traditional and European values. “You see European flags behind me. We don’t want to take them away and we don’t want, like others do, to take Poland out of the EU”, he assured. Wanting to lure the voters tired of divisions, he called for “restoring the brotherhood amongst Poles”. At the same time, he pointed out that “not a person during this convention mentioned PiS. Look how beautiful it can be without PiS”, emphasizing that PSL’s campaign is a positive one, but the party remains in oppostition to the current majority.