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POLAND: SLD joins PO for EP elections

The Democratic Left Alliance party (SLD) has declared that it will join forces with the Civic Platform (PO) as part of the “European Coalition for Poland”. At the beginning of February, the PO hosted a conference during which it presented its plans for the upcoming European Parliament elections – the creation of a wide coalition encompassing opposition parties. The Civic Platform aims to capitalise on the fears of some of the electorate that PiS will eventually attempt to retract Poland’s membership in the Union. However, experts argue that while this coalition is directed against PiS, the PO leadership’s true intentions are to force the Modern and PSL parties into a single electoral list that will concentrate votes. The declaration of the SLD is likely to motivate other opposition parties to join the coalition – the Green party has already announced its readiness to unite. For the PO, it will be key to encourage the Modern party as well as the agrarian PSL. This, however may require significant effort from Grzegorz Schetyna who will need to work around the strained relations with Modern, and deal with PSL’s improving negotiating position.