Tusk allies with leader of militant farmers in Polish election

Michał Kołodziejczak (at the front) with Donald Tusk announcing their political alliance. (Source: X@EKOlodziejczak_)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

The militant leader of the agrarian movement Agrounia, Michał Kołodziejczak, will stand for parliament in the elections on the liberal Civic Coalition (PO) slate, the block led by former Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The ruling party has slammed the deal saying that Kołodziejczak has sold out farmers’ interests for a place in parliament. 

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki took to X (formerly Twitter) to attack Tusk’s gambit. He accused Tusk’s party of having betrayed the interests of rural Poland and of now “having a Putin sympathizer on (his) slate.” He was referring to the fact that Kołodziejczak in the past criticized the government’s strong stance against Russia as being damaging to farming interests. 

The ruling conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) spokesman Rafał Bochenek joined the attack on Tusk, claiming that the decision to ally with Agrounia showed that Tusk was still committed to a reset with Russia. 

The government’s spokesman, Piotr Muller, ridiculed the new alliance, noting that Kołodziejczak recently criticized the liberals, saying that Tusk had made Poles into a nomadic tribe by forcing them to seek out work in the UK and Ireland. Muller said that Kołodziejczak has sold Polish farmers down the river, as he has now fully accepted the European People’s Party, until recently led by Donald Tusk, and climate policies that “could destroy Polish agriculture.” 

Political scientist Dr. Bartłomiej Biskup told portal wPolityce.pl that the alliance between the liberals and Agrounia is not ideological but simply to try to remove PiS from power. He feels certain that Agrounia will become dominated by the liberals as a result. 

Nor does he think that Tusk’s slate will benefit electorally from this union. The liberals may think they can attract the votes of some farmers who are unhappy with PiS on agriculture. However, they may lose the votes of people who find that kind of opportunism hard to stomach and who recall that Kołodziejczak is following in the footsteps of the agrarian populist Andrzej Lepper, who was a foe of the liberals, says the expert.

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