On April 26, during the Law and Justice (ECR) press conference, Jarosław Kaczyński introduced presidential candidates who are going to be backed by the coalition he leads. Among many rather unknown names of young politicians, there are also leaders of investigating committees – the head of the Amber Gold affair committee Małgorzata Wassermann, who is to run for the position in Cracow, and Patryk Jaki, Deputy Justice Minister and the leader of Warsaw privatization verification committee, set to stand for the mayor of the capital city.
Opposition’s Blitz Reaction
The critique of the candidates – Patryk Jaki in particular – has started before president Kaczyński finished the conference. While commenting the lack of recognisable politicians, the Nowoczesna (ALDE) leader came to a conclusion that “hardly anybody expressed interest in this kamikaze mission”.
Despite being sure of the win in Warsaw, she expressed her expectation that both Rafał Trzaskowski and Paweł Rabiej [common candidates of Civic Coalition – ed.] “will work very hard in this electoral campaign.”
11 Reasons Why
As she wished, Rafał Trzaskowski’s campaign team immediately moved to offense by publishing a two-part material (1) (2), in which the coalition’s candidate for the capital’s mayor asks his main opponent – Patryk Jaki – a series of questions.
The questions concern first and foremost worldview issues, such as support for Warsaw in vitro programme, participation in the Equality Parade and attitude towards the National-Radical Camp (ONR). Their aim was to either blow the United Right-Wing candidate’s cover as too conservative or not enough public-spirited for the citizens of Warsaw, at the same time showing Rafał Trzaskowski in the good light, or – make Jaki renounce the high ideals of his supporting party to please the centrists.
Shocking one part of the opposition, and sowing mistrust in the other, Patryk Jaki referred to his opponent’s materials admitting that he “will seriously consider” supporting the in vitro programme, later espousing this politics. He also talked about the Equality Parade – he declared that he will agree to its organization “as long as all of the formal conditions are met by its organizers”, but he himself will not participate.
He also diagnosed Trzaskowski with “not understanding the local government” – “Most of these questions are typically ideological, from country politics”. He instead offered a conversation about spatial and communicational politics, smog and kindergartens.
Defending “Jars*” and Competences
Patryk Jaki attacked Rafał Trzaskowski as response to accusations that he does not know Warsaw citizens’ problems, because he comes from Opole and he did not pay income tax in the capital – he suggested that Rafał Trzaskowski divides Varsovians for the better and the worse, while he himself took in defense “all those people who live in Warsaw but weren’t born here, yet feel like Varsovians”. He also accused Trzaskowski of looking down at him, pointing out that he’s “emphasising and boasting that it’s him who was born in Warsaw and is better for some reason”.
“At least I have got the experience in local government and not so little, and Rafał Trzaskowski has none” – he added.
*a “jar” – an offensive way to refer to someone coming from a different part Poland that is currently living and working in the capital city.