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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » November 3, 2015
Politics & Society
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November 3, 2015   
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1. Law and Justice (PiS)
Leader: Jarosław Kaczyński
Candidate for prime minister: Beata Szydło
Top politicians: Joachim Brudziński, Antoni Macierewicz, Mariusz Kamiński, Adam Lipiński
Established: 2001
What it stands for: a conservative, right-wing party with left-leaning economics (calling for progressive taxes, renationalization of privatized strategic enterprises such as banks, and lowering the retirement age)
Members: around 22,000

2. Civic Platform (PO)—in power for the last eight years in a coalition with the PSL
Leader: Ewa Kopacz
Top politicians: Cezary Grabarczyk, Bogdan Borusewicz, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Rafał Grupiński
Established: 2001
What it stands for: a center-right, free-market-oriented and Euroenthusiast party
Members: around 43,000

3. Kukiz’15
Leader: Paweł Kukiz
Top politicians: The movement heavily relies on its leader; those seeking parliamentary seats on the group’s ticket come from various, sometimes radically different, political camps, from radical nationalists to libertarians to rural party activists
The grouping has said that its members will not take up government posts and that it will not enter into a formal coalition, but that it may support a new government on an ad-hoc basis, backing new legislation that it agrees with.
Established: July 2015
What it stands for: a self-styled anti-establishment party vociferously opposed to some of the key principles on which Poland’s political system is based. It wants a complete change in the election system (through the introduction of single-member districts) and an end to the financing of political parties from the budget. It urges radical changes in state institutions established after the country’s move from communism to a market economy in 1989—a political and economic transition that is denounced by Kukiz’15 as “a secret deal between the opposition and the communists”

4. Nowoczesna
Leader: Ryszard Petru
Top politicians: the party is composed of new faces in Polish politics, except for its leader, who is a well-known economist
Established: May 2015
What it stands for: an unrestrained free market, a flat tax, an end to financing political parties from public money, and the scrapping of privileges for various occupational groups such as miners and farmers

5. Polish People’s Party (PSL)—the PO’s junior coalition partner in government for the last eight years
Leader: Janusz Piechociński
Top politicians: Jarosław Kalinowski, Adam Jarubas, Marek Sawicki, Jan Bury, Eugeniusz Kłopotek
Established: 1990
What it stands for: a leftist party representing mainly rural voters and defending privileges for farmers; it was part of governing coalitions with the Democratic Left Alliance in 1993-1997 and 2001-2003, and then, from 2007, with the Civic Platform
Members: 125,000

Leader: Janusz Korwin-Mikke
Top politicians: Przemysław Wipler, Tomasz Sommer, Dariusz Grabowski
Established: January 2015
What it stands for: a radical, right wing, anti-EU party that advocates an unrestrained free market, including complete privatization of health services and a state based on “the rule of law, not democracy.” After being elected a Eurodeputy, Korwin-Mikke said he was “going to the European Parliament to smash up the European Union from the inside.” The party champions traditional Christian values, wants the death penalty restored, and has called for “all those who have been in power so far to be put in prison.” The party is strongly opposed to Poland taking in refugees—in a speech in the European Parliament, Korwin-Mikke called them a “wave of human garbage flooding Europe.”

7. United Left election coalition made up of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), Your Movement (TR), the Polish Socialist Party, the Labor Union, and the Green Party. Politicians from several other smaller groups are also running for parliament on its election ticket
Leader: Barbara Nowacka
Top politicians: Leszek Miller (leader of the SLD), Janusz Palikot (leader of TR), Krzysztof Gawkowski,
Dariusz Joński
Established: August 2015
What it stands for: a Social Democratic party with a socialist agenda in terms of economic policy and an environmental bent

8. Partia Razem (The Together Party)
Leader: unofficially Adrian Zandberg, though the party says it has a collective leadership system
Top politicians: the party was established by young people with radical left-wing views but, apart from Zandberg, its members are little known
Established: May 2015
What it stands for: A radical leftist party modeled after Spain’s Podemos movement and the Syriza party in Greece. It wants a 75-percent income tax rate for the richest and the closure of Poland’s special economic zones, which it says are designed to help foreign investors avoid taxes. It is opposed to Poland competing on low labor costs, and supports demands voiced by the LGBT community, such as legal recognition of civil partnerships, including for partners of the same sex
Members: around 2,200
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