This party’s fate will help determine the future of Polish politics

As the dust settles from the European elections, the Third Way alliance faces a critical crossroads following a notable defeat, writes editor of Sieci weekly Jacek Karnowski

Poland's Deputy PM and Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz addresses lawmakers about the state of national security in the face of war in neighboring Ukraine, at the parliament in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

The key takeaway from the recent European elections is straightforward: Policies that persecute the opposition, stir up negative emotions, polarize society, and hinder Poland’s development are proving to be lucrative for the Civic Coalition (KO) but detrimental to its allies.

In the noise of an ongoing and never-ending battle, the arguments, proposals and achievements of the Third Way and the Left are being drowned out. In the political process proposed by Donald Tusk, these parties find themselves without a place. Emotions that had once elevated the Third Way are now effectively being extinguished by Tusk’s vengeance-driven team.

Surprisingly, the leaders of the Third Way and the Left failed to recognize this earlier and did not adjust their course when they still felt powerful. Will they notice now? Will they take action? It seems unlikely, as they appear too weakened and battered today. They would need to demonstrate surprising determination and resilience, including resistance to mainstream media attacks.

The deputy prime minister and defense minister in Tusk’s government, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, is now faced with a stark choice: either continue in the current arrangement and face inevitable political demise or initiate some form of upheaval, a restructuring of the power machinery that has now become a device for spewing hate and contempt.

If they fail to make changes, they will simply disappear. They will spend over three years in a passive consumption of power, perhaps ending up with a nominal spot on an expanded Civic Coalition list, but without any real leadership or influence.

On top of this, the role of the opposition awaits. Without a strong Third Way, given the current trajectory, the Civic Platform will likely lose power by the latest in the 2027 elections. Either the Law and Justice (PiS) will govern alone or in partnership with a faction of the Confederation.

On June 10, 2024, as the final results of the European elections were unveiled, we glimpsed the future political landscape of Poland.

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