The conservative former Justice Minister Jarosław Gowin and Janusz Palikot, leader of a socially liberal party, are shoring up their political positions a year ahead of European Parliament elections, with a view to gaining momentum before parliamentary elections in Poland in 2015.
Janusz Palikot (left) and Jarosław Gowin (right)
shutterstock/Courtesy of Justice Ministry
Mr Palikot launched what he is calling a “new” party at a convention in early October. The party will be called Twój Ruch, which can be translated as both “Your Movement” and “Your Move.” It will include the members of his previous party, “Ruch Palikota” (Palikot’s Movement), but several other notable left-wing politicians will join, including MEP Marek Siwiec, who will become vice-president of the grouping.
Mr Palikot said that the party will focus on action necessary for the Polish economy to expand. He stressed the need to build Poland’s knowledge-based economy and said that radical reform of the country’s pension system was required.
Mr Palikot is clearly looking to revive the popularity of his grouping. After coming in third in the 2011 parliamentary elections, the most recent polls show his party would not break the 5 percent threshold needed to receive seats in the lower house of parliament.
Republicans join forces with Gowin
On the other side of the political spectrum, Mr Gowin signed a cooperation agreement with the Republicans Association, headed by independent MP Przemysław Wipler. “We have similar interests and values: entrepreneurship and the family,” said Mr Gowin at a press conference called to make the announcement.
The agreement came a week after Mr Gowin signed a similar cooperation deal with the Poland Comes First party. The former justice minister, with strongly conservative leanings, quit Civic Platform in September this year after losing a leadership battle to Prime Minister Donald Tusk whom he accused of having veered the party to the left.
He has since been traveling around Poland in a bid to shore up support for a new socially conservative, pro-business political initiative.
Mr Gowin claims that he and his allies are not creating a new party, but rather a social movement. “One day the people who are part of this movement will decide whether to have some kind of political representation, whether to create a voting list to the European Parliament and in local elections,” Mr Gowin said.
Two other conservative politicians have also quit the ruling party in recent months: Poland’s first black MP John Godson and MP Jacek Żałek. They are also part of Mr Gowin’s political initiative.
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