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Conservative MPs form 'Poland United' breakaway group after dismissals

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 08.11.2011 09:30
Sixteen MPs and one senator from the Law and Justice (PiS) opposition have formed a new political bloc within parliament after former justice minister and now MEP Zbigniew Ziobro was sacked from the party last week.

Zbigniew ziobro with breakaway MPs; photo - PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski

The Law and Justice leadership, however, have said that if the politicians do not reconsider then they will be sacked from the party.

The move has further splintered the conservative opposition after losing MPs last year to the Poland Comes First (PJN) political party.

The new bloc in parliament is to be headed by MP Arkadiusz Mularczyk, who explained that he believed that Ziobro's expulsion last week was “incorrect and misguided.”

Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski sacked Ziobro and two other members of the European Parliament (MEPs) after statements calling for more democracy in the party after failure in the 9 October general elections, where the party came a poor second to Civic Platform.

Although Ziobro came forward yesterday to thank his colleagues for “the beautiful gesture”, he claimed that he does not want to break up Law and Justice, underlining that “we are not creating a new party” and that the move is aimed at ensuring “a PiS victory” at the next election.

However, Law and Justice spokesman Adam Hofman was quick to declare that members of the new 'club' had violated party statutes, and “if they do not reconsider”, they will be removed from Law and Justice.

Ziobro was once regarded as a potential successor to Jaroslaw Kaczynski and was a firm favourite of the party faithful when he was justice minister in the 2005 – 07 Law and Justice-led coalition government.

The new faction is called Solidarna Polska, an allusion to the 1980s trade union from which Law and Justice descended from. The name literally means “A Poland in Agreement” or a “United Poland.”

The breakaway politicians are Beata Kempa, Andrzej Dera, Marzena Wróbel, Tadeusz Woźniak, Mieczysław Golba, Jerzy Rębek, Patryk Jaki, Piotr Szeliga, Jarosław Żaczek, Andrzej Romanek, Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Jan Ziobro, Edward Siarka, Józef Rojek, Mariusz Orion Jędrysek, Jacek Bogucki and senator Maciej Klima.

They join Ziobro and fellow MEPs Jacek Kurski and Tadeusz Cymański in the new group. (pg/nh)

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