Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
In one of previous articles we covered the history of the most popular Polish political party – that is Solidarnosc. Without it Poland would be still (or at least longer) under Communist regime. But of course, as every free country, Poland has couple of political parties that rule it. As Solidarity vanished from political scene, new parties were born. Here are some details about the most important of them all in present Poland:
PO (Platforma Obywatelska) – Its name means Civic Platform. It was founded in 2001 as association and registered under this name in 2002. Donald Tusk – its current leader – was one of three founders who left their parental parties. It is a centre-right, liberal conservative political party. It combines liberal conservative approach towards economy (like privatization of the remaining Polish sectors) and conservative approach towards social and ethical issues (like opposition to abortion). The two most important people in Poland – Prime Minister and President – belong to PO.
PiS (Prawo I Sprawiedliwosc) – Abbreviation of words Law and Justice. It is a right-wind conservative party and the second largest party in Polish parliament. It was founded by Kaczynski twins, Lech and Jaroslaw in 2001. PiS’s programme is dominated by anti-corruption, conservative and law and order statements. In 2005 the party moved towards the Catholic Church and sustained remained eurosceptic and anti-federalist. The party won election in 2005 - while Lech Kaczynski became President of Poland – and put up Jaroslaw Kaczynski as Prime Minister. He ruled Poland until 2007 when new elections were called (in which PiS came second after PO). In 2010 Polish President – Lecha Kaczynski – and couple other members of PiS died in the plane crash in Smolensk.
SLD (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej) – Translated as Democratic Left Alliance. It was formed in 1991 from left-wing parties, but registered only in 1999 as a single party. It is second largest opposition party (with PiS) towards the rule of PO. Most of the establishers of SLD derived from Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland or had their roots in the communist regime. The party had its best times during the period when its leader – Aleksander Kwasniewski – was the President of Poland. He was elected for the first time in 1995 (defeating Lech Walesa). At that time many Poles has still some fears that the party would take Poland back to communist regime. But it proved to be wrong and Kwasniewski was reelected in 2000. The party has suffered a crisis since the huge defeat in 2005.
Of course these are only some of the political parties of Poland – however, these are the most important ones that count in the political scene.