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Election 2011 made simple – Part 3

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 30.09.2011 16:55
The third part of our series looks at some of the other parties standing in the 9 October general election in Poland.


See parts 1 and 2.

Poland Comes First (PJN)

Leader: Pawel Kowal

Party slogan: ‘Poland Comes First’

Profile: PJN is a centre/centre-right party founded in November 2010 after breaking away from the conservative Law and Justice opposition party.

PJN promotes itself as a more moderate, less nationalist alternative to Law and Justice, from which several of its founding members had either been sacked or resigned after falling out with leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

PJN has expressed its desire to quicken the pace of economic liberalisation as Poland continues to emerge from the financial quagmire of the Cold War years.

The party has promised a flat tax of 19 percent, and to level the retirement age for both men and women (currently women retire at 60, five years earlier than men).

Although the founding of the party caused ripples throughout the political scene in November 2010, the momentum was not maintained, and original leader Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska defected to Civic Platform earlier this summer. Several other founding members have also left the party.

Palikot’s Movement (RP)

Leader: Janusz Palikot

Party Slogan: A Modern State

Profile: Palikot’s Movement is a liberal party that, as the name implies, is based around the personality of its founder and leader, Janusz Palikot.

Considered something of a wild card in Polish politics, Palikot left Civic Platform in autumn 2010 and promptly set about creating his own party.
With a penchant for publicity stunts (he once flashed a sex toy during a press conference) Palikot is critical of the Polish Catholic Church, and he writes a column for the tabloid-style anti-clerical weekly Fakty i Mity (Facts and Myths) supplemented by a gossipy, humorous blog.

The party promotes same-sex unions, is for more liberal abortion laws, and would like to see soft drugs legalised.

Polish Labour Party – August 80 (PPP)

Leader: Bogusław Ziętek

Slogan: ‘They argue, while we choose the future’

Profile: Appearing at No 6. on ballot papers, the August 80 part of their name refers to the August 1980 strikes in Poland which led to the formation of the Solidarity trade union.

The PPP is the old-style socialist option in the elections.

“Capitalism does not provide equal opportunities for people and has no respect for basic human rights - such as the right to bread and a roof over our heads,” says the party web site.

The party is for the nationalization of key industries and against mass lay-offs and “casino capitalism”.


The New Right party led by veteran right-winger Janusz Korwin Mikke did not manage to register to appear nationwide on ballot papers - though the party’s leader says they did fulfill all that was required of them before the deadline – a situation he says is a “scandal” and the “end of Polish democracy”.

You will see them standing in larger cities, however.

The New Right describes itself as “conservative-liberal and Eurosceptic”.

They stand for cutting taxes, cutting public spending accept for national defence, and to defend the rights of consumers. (pg/nh)

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