Poland’s liberal coalition government hasn’t formed yet, but it’s already reneging on campaign promises

Supporters of the Third Way, a coalition of the centrist Poland 2050 party and the agrarian Polish People's Party, celebrate at their electoral headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Michal Dyjuk, File)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Now that it is clear the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party has failed to obtain a parliamentary majority and the liberal opposition will be able to take control, we have already seen a series of attempts by these parties to back out of their election promises.

Suddenly, we learn that opposition leader Donald Tusk did not mean it “literally” when he told the electorate he could unblock the EU’s post-pandemic recovery funds in 24 hours and that it was merely “a figure of speech.”

Before us, we have the realization of the Civic Coalition’s “100 pledges for 100 days.” It will not be easy, since the Left and Third Way have already come to blows over abortion on demand. Tusk promised a change in abortion law for women, but he may have to swallow his pride and bow to the fact that Third Way now has the controlling share in the new coalition yet to be formed.

Third Way is also against zero-rate mortgages and wants to see universal child benefits be substituted with means-tested payments targeted at needy families. There is also the realization that to change the management in public media, legislation will be required and that could get blocked by President Duda’s veto, and the new coalition does not have the necessary 60 percent of parliament to overturn this.

All this is occurring before bargaining even starts over who is to be the next prime minister. Third Way is signaling that they would prefer someone other than Tusk and that their leader Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz would be the best candidate. 

It looks as if the opposition did not really expect to win. Otherwise, surely it would have had a coalition agreement hammered out, and the priority legislative drafts would already be in place, oven-ready to go into the new Polish parliament. Then, there would be no need to have fights on X over abortion or the name of the new prime minister. 

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