The convention held in the suburb of Warsaw only had one key speaker, the leader of Law and Justice, Jarosław Kaczyński. He positioned his party as the custodian of the legacy of his brother, Lech, whose vision of Poland and its place in the world, he argues, is being implemented by the current government.
Kaczyński used the occasion to defend the record of his government. He was proud of the fact that the state budget is today nearly twice what it was back in 2015 when his party came to power. This enabled the party to implement key social policies to help families and the elderly.
The PiS leader was scathing about the opposition whom he accused of belittling Poland. He said that its behavior as a “total opposition” which called for foreign assistance in opposing the government meant that it was beyond the pale. According to Kaczyński, the previous liberal administration had weakened the state and its capacity to develop the country and was in effect trying to wind up Poland as a nation state.
The crisis over the war in Ukraine had shown that Poles are “not inferior, in fact they are superior,” bearing in mind the country’s effective mobilization in helping Ukrainian refugees.
In terms of challenges facing the government, Kaczyński singled out inflation. He refused to set out any timetables or targets for combating but promised that tackling inflation would be a top priority for the current administration, so that Poland does not end up in a situation such as the one facing Turkey which has 60 percent inflation.
Jarosław Kaczyński strongly defended the government’s program of major investments such as the Central Transport Hub (CPK – airport and railway interchange). He believed that this project would change Poland’s place in the world and make Warsaw as or even more important than Berlin.
He urged members of his party to do everything to ensure that PiS retains power, calling on them to counter negative media claims with facts and arguments. That is why he called for a mobilization of the party in the coming months with a tour of provincial centers, something the ruling party has done before with some success.
The convention did not include any new policy ideas or proposals; these are likely to be unveiled much closer to the date of the election. Poland is due to elect its Parliament in the autumn of 2023.