Warsaw, Poland – Only weeks after categorically refusing to join the anti-government European Coalition, Robert Biedroń and his Wiosna (Spring) movement performed a startling political U-turn.
Robert Biedron to join European Coalition ahead of national elections
During a press conference on Saturday, Biedroń announced he would kick-start talks with the European Coalition – an alliance of right and left-wing opposition parties centered around the Civic Platform (PO) of Grzegorz Schetyna – to join forces ahead of this year’s parliamentary elections.
Calling for the opposition to unite in order to challenge the current ruling party and block PiS from reaching a constitutional majority, he said that his main priority was the defense of “democracy, the rule of law and human rights”. He added he was ready to break off talks and leave the negotiation table if necessary.
Political U-turn one month after EU election defeat
This decision came as a surprise for everyone, as Biedroń had repeatedly insisted he would remain independent or only seek to join forces with left-wing parties.
One month ago, Robert Biedroń dismissed calls to join the European Coalition, with critics arguing that his new liberal party threatened to divide the anti-Law and Justice (PiS) alliance of opposition parties. Although initially seen as the rising star of Poland’s progressive politics and a man able to break the long-standing PiS-PO near-duopoly of the Polish political landscape, Robert Biedroń’s disappointing results in EU elections might explain his change of strategy.
Some also blamed Biedroń, Poland’s first openly gay lawmaker and former mayor of Słupsk with a highly progressive agenda, for the opposition’s defeat in the European elections. However, even the combined vote of the European Coalition and Wiosna (44.5%) would have fallen short of the results of the ruling PiS party (45.4%).