Donald Tusk returned to Polish politics on Saturday to revive the fate of the struggling opposition and to overthrow the ruling conservative nationalist Law and Justice Party.
Poland will hold parliamentary elections in 2023 at the latest, while Tusk is Step down As the Polish prime minister who became president of the European Council in 2014, he said that he will return to lead the Civic Platform Party, which is the center-right party he co-founded 20 years ago and won.
“I’m back 100%,” Tusk said at a party on Saturday. “My Belief [is] The civic platform is necessary, not as a flashback, but as a force to defeat law and justice in future battles. “
Under Tusk’s leadership, the Civic Platform became the dominant force in Polish politics, winning elections in 2007 and 2011, which is the first time the current government has won re-election since the collapse of communism.
But when he replaced Warsaw with Brussels in 2014, its fortunes were waning, and the party was scandal Some senior figures’ comments were secretly recorded and accused of ignoring the concerns of the less wealthy Poles.
During this period, Law and Justice led by Tusk’s mortal enemy Jaroslaw Kaczynski won a series of local, national and European awards. election, Thanks in part to generous welfare policies, including its flagship Child welfare plan, Higher minimum wage, And more money for pensioners.
But it also brought Warsaw and Brussels into conflict, and promoted judicial reforms deemed by the European Commission to be fundamental. Threats to the rule of law,put pressure on Independent media And resort to Attacks on the LGBT movement To inspire its voters.
In recent months, the law and justice organization co-ruling with two smaller groups has been split. Infighting Between its moderates and hardliners. Last week, three members of Congress left to form their own group, depriving the coalition of an official majority in Parliament, although analysts said it may still be able to piece together a majority on key votes.
In a speech at the Citizens Platform Conference-during which he replaced Boris Budka as the acting chairman of the party-Tusk took aim at the record of law and justice, accused it of evil, and further promoted Russian President Vladimir Putin used a conflict to split Europe’s goal with Brussels.
“The evil done by law and justice is so obvious, so shameless, so eternal, and it happens in almost everything,” he said. “Contempt for minorities, brutal, vulgar authoritarian tendencies, and aversion to all kinds of freedom… a permanent attack on the EU. This is Putin’s agenda, one-on-one.”
However, despite the conflict between law and justice and Brussels and the tensions in the ruling camp, Tusk still faces the arduous task of reviving the fate of the citizen platform. In recent polls, the party’s approval rating dropped to 16%, lagging behind law and justice, and Szymon Holownia’s new centrist party Poland 2050.
There are also generational splits in Civic Platform.Rafal Trzaskowski, the popular mayor of Warsaw, who ran as a candidate for the civic platform last year President election, Earlier this week made it clear that if internal elections are to be held, he is ready to compete with Tusk for the leadership of the party.
Polityka political expert Wojciech Szacki said: “I think Tusk will be able to bring Civic Platform’s approval rate back to more than 20% in the polls, and I think this will happen soon, which will enable him to make a difference.” Insight, A think tank located in Warsaw.
“But I think it’s not enough to exceed law and justice in opinion polls. I think Tusk has a ceiling above his head. Since he left, Poland has changed. Many people either don’t like what the Civic Platform did when he was in power. Others don’t remember.”