New party on the right to challenge ruling party?

Mirosław Piotrowski speaking in the European Parliament. Photo: PAP/Wiktor Dąbkowski

A new political party “The True Europe Movement” (RPE) has filed for registration in a Warsaw court. According to the portal the party is the brainchild of Father Tadeusz Rydzyk.

Father Rydzyk is the founder of the conservative Catholic radio station “Radio Maryja”, a TV station “TV Trwam” and a daily newspaper “Nasz Dziennik”. The conservative Catholic activist has over the past decade supported “Law and Justice” (PiS) , the ruling party.

The person registering the party is Mirosław Piotrowski, an MEP elected on PiS lists, but not a member of that party. It is rumoured that the party is to attempt to garner voters opposed to the EU in its current form and to present a socially conservative message.

Tensions have been growing between highly socially conservative activists such as Mr Piotrowski and PiS since the removal from the government of staunch social conservatives such as Jan Szyszko, the former environment minister, and Antoni Macierewicz the former defence minister.

But even more important has been the reluctance of the ruling party to move to tighten the abortion law. It is rumoured that several current PiS deputies may stand for the new party in the European elections in May.

Unwelcome development for PiS

The ruling party will not welcome a new party forming. It will be keenly aware of the dangers of splitting the vote of the right. It is virtually certain that talks will be held to avert any separate slate of candidates backed by Father Rydzyk appearing in either the European or the Parliamentary elections. This move to establish a new party maybe a gambit by social and catholic conservatives to increase their influence within the ruling PiS and to get action on issues such as abortion.