Classifieds | Archives | Jobs | About TGT | Contact | Subscribe
Last updated 4 minutes ago
Printer Friendly Version | TGT@Twitter | RSS Feed |
Poland PM wins party leadership vote
August 24, 2013
 Print    Send to Friend

WARSAW: Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk easily won re-election as his party’s leader on Friday, but his government has been losing popularity halfway through his second term in office.

Tusk won about 80 per cent of the votes in the governing centre-liberal Civic Platform’s leadership election, while challenger Jaroslaw Gowin got 20 per cent, according to results released on Friday. But only 51 per cent of the party members voted, undermining the depth of Tusk’s support.

His Civic Platform party, the main one in his coalition government, is rapidly losing support, and will need to boost its image for the 2015 parliamentary election.

Poland’s longest-serving prime minister since the days of communism, Tusk took office in 2007, and for years he faced no serious challenge, while the economy continued to grow, despite the global crisis.

But last year Poland’s economy slowed down, unemployment soared to more than 14 per cent, and the government is facing criticism for unpopular decisions such as raising the retirement age, cutting pension privileges for some groups, and trying to give marriage-like rights to same-sex couples, in this largely conservative Catholic nation.

Observers noted that Gowin’s result was higher than expected. Tusk fired Gowin as justice minister earlier this year, in punishment for his voting against the party in a parliamentary vote.

On Friday he congratulated the opponent’s “quite good result” and encouraged him to further cooperation in the party, against calls from some members to expel Gowin.

For his part, Gowin said he was satisfied with his result and called on Tusk to work to improve his economy and social policy in support of large families.

This year Tusk’s government is cutting spending to counter a recently disclosed increase in the country’s budget deficit, leading to speculation denied by Tusk that Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski will eventually have to go.

In October, Warsaw residents will vote in a referendum that could dismiss Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, a prominent member of Tusk’s party whose policies have been sharply criticised.

All of this benefits the nationalist Law and Justice opposition party led by former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Some of his popularity comes from criticism of Tusk’s Cabinet and memory of Kaczynski’s government’s generous social policy, but there is also sympathy for the loss of his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, in a plane crash in Russia in 2010. The party is fuelling assassination theories that appeal to many voters.

Associated Press

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Post a comment
Related Stories
Poland gambles on ‘receipt lottery’ to boost revenue
WARSAW: An ordinary sales receipt could be a ticket to ride in a brand new car in Poland, where authorities launched a “receipt lottery” on Thursday in a bid to curb sale..
Poland reburies World War II national heroes
WARSAW: Poland's highest state officials on Sunday reburied the remains of 35 national heroes, men who fought the Germans during World War II only to be killed after the ..
Poland answers Kremlin anger over Soviet general's statue
WARSAW: Poland said on Sunday it had offered to commemorate 800,000 captured Soviet soldiers killed by German troops, in a gesture to quell Kremlin anger over demolition ..
Poland backtracks on Nazi ‘gold train’
WARSAW: A regional governor in Poland said on Monday he had serious doubts about the alleged discovery of a Nazi gold train days after a deputy culture minister revealed ..
Soviet crew remains found in Polish river bed
WARSAW: The remains of a Soviet fighter-bomber plane and two crew members shot down by Germans in 1945 have been found in a river in central Poland amid extremely low wat..
Advertise | Copyright