Polish farmers' union leader surprisingly on candidate list of combi-opposition

Polish liberal opposition leader Donald Tusk has presented his list of candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections on October 15. The list of his pro-European Citizens' Alliance also includes Agrounia farmer's union leader Mikhail Kolodziejczak, the former national ombudsman, several deputy MPs and regional celebrities.

Agrounia had originally planned to run in the elections with a list of candidates from their own political party. Maar= in April, part of the supporters joined the regrouping of two centre-right parties. This combination focuses almost entirely on the countryside. In opinion polls, Agrounia then stalled at no more than one and a half percent, well below the Polish electoral threshold of five percent. 

Despite this cooperation with the new Polish party combination KO, Kolodziejczak said that he will not join a new party and that the farmers' union will continue to exist independently. He pointed to the importance of combining urban and rural areas, said that Poland is currently in crisis and that non-ordinary solutions are needed. He said he wants to free Poland from the PiS potentates.

Polish President Morawiecki immediately reacted to the announcement, labeling Kolodziejczak a "Putin boyfriend". This statement underscores the political tensions and rivalries that currently characterize Poland's political landscape, with the ruling PiS and the new opposition coalition diametrically opposed. In opinion polls, the difference is only a few percent.

Tusk, who has expressed his ambition to defeat the 15-year ruling Party of Law and Justice (PiS) with an opposition coalition, surprised many by also calling the radical farmer's union leader on stage at the presentation. With the switch of Agrounia and other prominent figures, Tusk hopes to create broad electoral support. 

With less than two months to go before parliamentary elections, the political arena in Poland is bound to heat up further. The battle between the PiS incumbent and the emerging opposition coalition will dominate the political debate in the coming weeks and determine the course of the country for years to come.