Civic Platform’s presidential candidate is Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska

Over 700 Civic Platform (PO) delegates partook in the party’s Saturday convention which decided that the formation would be led by deputy Lower House speaker Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska in the 2020 presidential elections.

Taking place at the Global Expo centre in Warsaw, the convention is the last chapter before the party enters the presidential race with its candidate.

The election was carried out secretly and via pen and paper.

Constituting the Civic Coalition caucus together with the PO, the “Modern” party, Initiative Poland and the Greens’ MPs and leaders were invited to Saturday’s event.

At the beginning of December, Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska and Jacek Jaśkowiak clashed in the pre-election debate. They were answering questions asked by internet users, among other topics, related to the state’s climate policy and foreign affairs.

One of the fields in which they had different opinions was the energy sector's transition to renewables. In the opinion of Ms Kidawa-Błońska, the current deputy Lower House Speaker, the Polish energy sector should be based on renewables, and the country should resign from coal completely as of 2035. In terms of nuclear energy, she stated that “the issue needs to be discussed with the specialists.”

Meanwhile, Mr Jaśkowiak, who holds the Poznań Mayor office, stated that Poland would be able to resign from coal no earlier than 20 to 30 years time. “We have to stay realistic. It’s easy to make declarations, but we have to keep energy poverty in mind, especially in small towns and villages,” he said.

Party leader elections ahead

During Saturday’s convention, the National Board of the PO also adopted a resolution on the party leader elections. The leader of the PO will be elected in direct voting with all PO members having the active electoral right on January 25 with a possible second round on February 8.

The tussle for PO leadership involves the head of the Civic Coalition caucus Borys Budka, senator Bogdan Zdrojewski and MP Joanna Mucha. It remains unknown whether the current PO leader Grzegorz Schetyna will fight for reelection. His tenure ends in January 2020.