Warsaw, Poland – Robert Biedron, leader of the left-wing Wiosna (Spring) party, announced he didn’t plan on joining the opposition anti-government alliance ahead of this year’s national elections.
Robert Biedron’s announcement comes amid calls for Wiosna to join the opposition European Coalition, centered around the Civic Platform (PO), to present a united front against the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party ahead of October’s national ballot.
Although emerging as the third biggest political party three months only after its creation, Wiosna’s results in last week’s EU elections fell short of expectations and failed to break the quasi-duopoly of the PiS-PO competition structuring and polarizing Poland’s political landscape.
Robert Biedron and his left-wing, progressive Wiosna party received 6% of the votes and three seats in the European Parliament, well behind the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the opposition European Coalition (KE), respectively first and second with 45% and 38%.
Every since Biedron, Poland’s first openly gay lawmaker and the former mayor of the northern city of Slupsk, launched his Wiosna movement in February, critics have accused him of dividing the opposition and playing into the hands of the ruling party.
“We’ve decided to make an independent start”, Biedron nevertheless told reporters following the EU elections, without detailing the reasons for his decision.
In the past, the former mayor of Slupsk didn’t shy away from criticizing both the ruling party and the Civic Platform, the two arch-enemies (but both right-wing) that have dominated the Polish political landscape in the past decades.
For many analysts, Wiosna’s highly-progressive agenda, which includes the liberalization of abortion and gay rights and the separation of the church and the state, appears too radical to appeal to a wider electorate and incompatible with the European Coalition’s – even though the latter comprises both right- and left-wing political parties.