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Poland: Robert Biedroń to join European Coalition in political U-turn

Robert Biedron during European Parliament election campaign meeting

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.

Robert Biedron with young supporters of Wiosna party
Robert Biedroń’s highly liberal agenda, including regarding LGBT rights and Church-State separation, might antagonize the European Coalition’s right-wing members

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%).

1 comment on “Poland: Robert Biedroń to join European Coalition in political U-turn

  1. Pingback: Poland’s united opposition splits up into two blocs – Kafkadesk

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