Expert: Big challenge ahead for Rafał Trzaskowski

In an interview with PolandIN Prof. Wawrzyniec Konarski from Vistula University in Warsaw says that to succeed in building an effective opposition Rafał Trzaskowski must find ways of getting other opposition forces on his side and that he must play down his links with the Civic Platform (PO).

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Prof. Konarski believes Rafał Trzaskowski could unite the Polish opposition if he can find a way of working with its pro-systemic parts; the Polish People’s Party (PSL), the Left and the new movement being activated by the independent candidate Szymon Hołownia. But he agrees that one of the obstacles Mr Trzaskowski will face is the Civic Platform’s past record and decreasing capacity to mobilise opposition voters. He has proved himself as a campaigner mobilising votes, he now has to show he can unite people over a longer period. He does not think that the opposition in Poland will face a ‘Hungarian scenario’. The result Rafał Trzaskowski obtained in the presidential election shows that the opposition in Poland is a much greater force than that in Hungary. The professor believes that the opposition may benefit from problems within the ruling camp. He thinks that much will depend on the continuing strength of the leadership of Law and Justice (PiS) coming from Jarosław Kaczyński. His strong leadership of PiS creates a serious problem of succession. The unity of the right has, in Prof. Konarski’s opinion, been its trump card over the atomised opposition. Should the ruling camp become divided that advantage would be forfeited.