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POLAND: Civic Platform Leadership Race

The main opposition party Civic Platform will elect its leader at the end of January. The first round of the election will take place on 25 January. Party members will vote by post. A total of 6 candidates have registered for the election: MEP Bartosz Arłukowicz, MP Borys Budka, MP Joanna Mucha, MP Tomasz Siemoniak, MP Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz and MEP Bogdan Zdrojewski. Last week the PO’s current leader Grzegorz Schetyna announced he would not stand for re-election.

Now, it is becoming clear that Budka and Siemoniak are the frontrunners in the race. Insiders are suggesting that Arłukowicz, Mucha, and Zdrojewski will all step away and endorse Budka. This makes it likely that the election would be resolved in the first round of voting. Budka’s appointment is more likely to lead to more profound changes within the party compared to Siemoniak. When Schetyna endorsed Siemoniak last week, commentators noted that the latter’s victory would maintain the status quo in the party. If the election is resolved in the first round, this would also allow the PO to consolidate more quickly ahead of the presidential election.