First test of PO+N coalition. Schetyna’s controversial decision

Local government coalition

Local government coalition currently built by Platforma Obywatelska (EPP) and Nowoczesna (ALDE), has so far succeeded in putting up joint candidates for presidents of Warsaw and Szczecin. It has brought up questions about other “key” Polish cities – however, the agreement is not easy.

Different ideas for Wrocław

Nowoczesna is promoting Michał Jaros for Lower Silesia’s capital, a candidate who promised, among all, to strengthen safety on the streets, reduce traffic jams i make the city a “capital of better jobs” – so as its citizens didn’t have to leave to Poznań or Warsaw because of salaries.

Shocking the coaltion party and the rest of the opposition, Grzegorz Schetyna decided to back up Kazimierz Ujazdowski as a candidate instead – a MEP from PiS (ECR) who has been active in this party for years –  while also adding him to the PO’s “Shadow Cabinet”.

Coalitioner critique

This move has been critiqued by Nowoczesna, SLD (S&D), Razem, and PSL (EPP), in surprising agreement.

As Nowoczesna’s MP Krzysztof Mieszkowski believes, Ujazdowski is a good candidate for PO, but not for Wrocław. The local deputy of Katarzyna Lubnauer’s party accuses the Schetyna’s protege of “voting for homosexualism treatment” and “backing up abortion ban”.

Ryszard Petru highlights that “Wrocław needs an enterprising, modern, tolerant president” with “vision”, and the Schetyna’s candidate “does not meet any of those criteria”. “It’s hard to resist the impression that the coalition with PO is not working,” he admitted.

The existence of the strife has been confirmed by the leader of the party herself, reminding that Michał Jaros remains her party’s candidate. According to the liberal’s leader Wrocław “has a brand of an open, European city” and needs “liberal values and new energy, that Ujazdowski will not provide”.

Opposition united against

Similar accusations towards Uzajdowski have been voiced by the left wing. SLD, agreeing with Krzysztof Mieszkowski’s list of accusations, is ironically saying that in the Schetyna candidate’s programme there will be a crucifix for every classroom, homosexualism therapy and beginning each city board sitting with a mass. The party pointed out as well that still as a member of PiS, Ujazdowski advocated introducing 3-year jail time for using in vitro, the method whose public funding, after being retracted by the current government, is being brought back independently by consecutive Polish local governments.

Member of Razem’s board, Adrian Zandberg, stated that “Kazimierz Ujazdowski fits Platforma with his views really well” and there’s “no need to get so offended”. However, he attacked PO, fulminating that “it’s not, never was, and never will be the party of progress” and pointing out that it “sits in Brussels in the same club as Viktor Orban”.

For Platforma’s ex-coalitioner, PSL, Grzegorz Schetyna’s proposal is a part of a “big name’s race”. Criticising the “political transfers”, a MP from this party, Mirosław Maliszewski, declared that “politicians should be faithful to their political beliefs”.

Grzegorz Schetyna, alienated in the opposition, defended himself claiming that “Kazimierz Ujazdowski has to convince to his nomination the citizens of Wrocław first”. As he added – “It’s people who vote, not political parties.”

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