Key opposition politician ready to stand for President

Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, the leader of the Polish People’s Party (PSL) announced that he was willing to stand for President in next year’s Presidential election.

Mr Kosiniak-Kamysz said he wanted to be the candidate of the whole centre-right and called on the Civic Platform (PO), the party with which the PSL is allied in the European People’s Party in the European Parliament, to agree to a process of joint candidate selection.

Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz is the leader of the Polish People’s Party (PSL). The party is an ally of the main opposition Civic Platform (PO) in the European Parliament. And it was Kosiniak-Kamysz and his party that fared unexpectedly well in October’s Parliamentary election seeing its support rising from 5 to 9 percentage points.

Fresh from that success the PSL leader addressed his party at the gathering of its National Council in Wierzchosławice on Sunday. He said that “in order to win a Presidential election it was not enough to be the candidate of just one party. A much broader alliance is needed.”

The PSL Chief said that he was ready for the challenge that would entail building a “civic movement”. His party Council backed him as the party’s candidate and called upon other opposition parties to agree a method of a primary selection of a candidate to represent them in the Presidential poll due next May.

Kosiniak-Kamysz added that should someone “more worthy of the honour” come forward he would be prepared to stand down. This will be taken by some as a bow in the direction of Donald Tusk, former leader and PM for the Civic Platform who is likely to be elected as leader of the European People’s Party in November.

Donald Tusk himself, will decide in early December whether he is willing to stand. The current President of the European Council has been reported to be considering backing Kosiniak-Kamysz if he does not run for President himself.

The method of selection of the opposition’s presidential candidate proposed by the PSL is a ‘primary’ consisting of an in-depth survey of a large number of voters by two separate pollsters.