Zbigniew Ziobro (L), Jaroslaw Kaczynski (C) and Jaroslaw Gowin in Warsaw on Saturday. The slogan reads 'Unity for Poland.' Photo: PAP/Jakub Kaminski
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Law and Justice, the largest right-wing party in parliament (137 seats), welcomed his hitherto rivals Jaroslaw Gowin (Poland Together) and Zbigniew Ziobro (United Poland) onto the stage at the 'Time for Change' rally in the capital.
“It is important to understand the situation in Poland, but it is also important to know how to change this situation,” he said as he announced his allies.
“One thing is certain: change will come through unity,” he added.
“This unity is a fact.”
Jaroslaw Gowin later clarified in talks with journalists that the alliance would include having a shared candidate in next year's presidential elections.
Likewise, the three parties would have a shared electoral list for the forthcoming general election, which can be held no later than 2015.
When asked what proportional balance the parties would have on the electoral list, Gowin simply commented that it would be a “fair” one.
Gowin, formerly of Prime Minister Tusk's centre-right Civic Platform, had served as justice minister from 2011, but was dismissed in 2013.
Considered among the most conservative of Tusk's party, he was eventually sacked in April 2013 after claiming that German scientists were importing Polish embryos and conducting experiments on them. He then founded Poland Together.
Zbigniew Ziobro served as minister of justice from 2005-2007 in the Law and Justice-led coalition government. He was sacked from Law and Justice in 2011, after calling for change following the party's second consecutive electoral defeat (2007,2011). He then formed the United Poland party.
At present, Civic Platform has 202 seats in parliament, while coalition partner the Polish Peasants Party has 32.
Law and Justice has 137 seats, while the two smaller right-wing parties have yet to compete in a general election.
A poll held last week by TNS Polska indicated that if elections were held this month, Law and Justice would garner 35 percent of the vote, Civic Platform – rocked by revelations from clandestinely recorded tapes - would win 23 percent, while Poland Together and United Poland would win 2 percent apiece, not enough to cross the 5 percent threshold needed to enter parliament. (nh)