Robert Biedroń, LGBT activist and former Mayor of Słupsk is setting up a party that is going to be liberal rather than leftist in nature. He is, for the time being, ruling out joining a broader opposition front and wants his new party to test its strength in the European elections in May.
The party’s launch will take place in Warsaw on 3 February with 7,500 expected in attendance. Only then will voters learn the name and logo of the new party.
The party will be organised around regions, parliamentary constituencies and counties. According to sources close to Mr Biedroń he has already established fledgling structures in 270 out of 380 counties.
The party will appoint 41 parliamentary constituency coordinators on and will begin to get ready for the European elections due in May.
Poles will elect 52 MEPs in 13 regional constituencies. Robert Biedroń’s associates have confirmed that they already have 13 people who will head those 13 lists. Among them is Mr Biedroń’s life partner, Mr Krzysztof Śmiszek.
The messaging of the new party is going to be critical of the Civic Platform (PO) and its record in equal measure to criticism of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS). It is going for the electorate that has been voting for the Civic Platform and the Modern Party rather than for the electorate of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD).
However this does not mean that in reality there will be equi-distance in relation to the established opposition and the government. The party wants to test its strength in the European elections so it rules out any wider electoral coalition in those polls. But the party does not rule out joining in a wider front come the Parliamentary elections in the autumn.
The party’s programme is to be a liberal one, despite the fact that Mr Biedroń is regarded as a politician of the left and that the grouping intends to join the European Socialists in the EP. It has no problems with the ‘liberal label ‘ as it wants to accentuate issues relating to personal rights and freedoms and creating a business-friendly environment.
The programme which is to be announced in February will not propose any tax increases. The party will instead propose a review of state spending, especially spending connected with the church. It is likely that it will propose to stop spending money on religious instruction in schools and spend that money on increasing teachers salaries.
The party is also to propose phasing out reliance on coal by a switch to renewable sources of energy. It will also promise increased funding for people with disabilities and a reform in the pensions system which would phase in a minimum pension for all and replace the current contributions level based system.
Mr Biedroń’s party will address the issue of care for the elderly and link it to the issue of immigration. It will argue that migration is essential for Poland’s economy and society and to provide assistance for the old.
The movement also intends to target women voters. It is to propose access to free contraception, guaranteeing anaesthesia in labour, the right to an abortion within 12 weeks of conception, equal pay legislation and measures that will isolate the perpetrators of domestic violence from the victims.