Ruling PO's conservative closer to losing majority as MP Gowin leaves party
September 10, 2013
Poland's governing party Civic Platform (PO)’s official majority in the lower house is down to two votes now when PO’s key member Jaroslaw Gowin, informal leader of PO's conservative wing and recent opponent of PM Donald Tusk in the party leadership election, has decided to leave the party, Gowin said on Monday.
"Today I have approached the border, behind which the loyalty to the party is in conflict with the loyalty to the Poles," Gowin said at a press conference, adding he will now be an independent MP.
Gowin said he "disagrees" with policy led by his party, as "this is not PO program". "That is why I made the decision about leaving PO," he said.
Gowin pointed to the reform of private pension funds OFE announced by the government last week as one of the reasons for his decision, calling the planned reform "nothing else but nationalization of private savings" and a "blow for the Polish economy."
Additionally, Gowin disagrees with the budget deficit figure planned for 2014, which, in his view, is "record high" despite "the announced tax increase."
Gowin has previously criticized government's plans to reform OFE system.
In the coming weeks Gowin will take his agenda or platform into talks and announce within a month "with whom and how I want to change Poland," he said, adding he wants to set up a "movement of opposition" to increasing taxes and rising indebtedness.
On August 30 Gowin suspended his membership in PO caucus for three months to express solidarity with another PO MP Jacek Zalek, who got suspended in his caucus member rights for violating party discipline in parliamentary votes.
Gowin, who recently lost against PM Donald Tusk in party leadership election but collected 20% of votes, was considered as informal leader of PO's conservative wing.
Gowin’s departure cuts the governing coalition's lower house seat count to 232 in the 460-seat lower house as PO has 203 while the agrarian junior coalition partner Polish People’s Party (PSL) has 29.