Yesterday evening the Polish media revealed the leading candidates of Law and Justice in the EP elections. As Poland is divided into 13 electoral districts the candidates who are PiS no.1 choices in each electoral district have very high chances of being elected into the EP. Here are the leaked names:
- Beata Szydło, former prime minister (2015-2017) and current vice-PM (Małopolska region, including Kraków). Once she took office as Polish PM Ms Szydło removed the EU flag from her desk…;
- Adam Bielan, vice-speaker of the Senate, former MEP 2004-2014 (Mazowsze region outside of Warsaw);
- Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, MEP since 2004, former vice-president of EP, vice-EPP, chair of AFET, etc. All positions with EPP until he was Szydło’s candidate for the presidency… of the European Council against Donald Tusk (Warsaw);
- Witold Waszczykowski, former foreign minister (2015-18) (Łódź)
- Ryszard Legutko, current MEP and co-leader of ECR
- Tomasz Poręba, current MEP from Podkarpacie region (Rzeszów)
- Zbigniew Krasnodębski, current MEP and vice-president of the EP
- Ryszard Czarnecki, MEP since 2004, former EP vice-president, who was removed from office due to undiplomatic language
- Anna Zalewska, the education minister facing a major teachers strike later this spring
- Patryk Jaki, deputy justice minister, former PiS candidate for mayor of Warsaw
Who is missing so far?
- Anna Fotyga, former foreign minister, current MEP and chair of SEDE
- Karol Karski, current MEP and EP’s Quaestor
- Mirosław Piotrowski, current MEP and a leader of the right-wing flank of the PiS in the European Parliament. Mr Piotrowski could run on a separate list Movement of True Europe. He is politically affiliated with father Tadeusz Rydzyk (Radio Maryja).
Names, names, names. The first bunch is out. It is a pity PiS is not keeping its standards of political transfers and includes Jacek Saruysz-Wolski among their candidates. I understand this is the pay back time from the time when he has left the PO and EPP. Still, it calls for condemnation and shows how some politicians should not be trusted.
On the other hand, as Mr Saryusz-Wolski was the person who was among the first people who organised the Polish accession into the EU back in 1990s, will he be a force against Polexit in PiS?
Putting Ms Szydło as PiS front face in the campaign is a clear manifestation of what is this vote all about: to send people who were once important to rest and earn some decent money. The EP is a political retirement from the real politics, which is here and now, in Warsaw. Ministers Zalewska and Waszczykowski fit the category, too.
Some of PiS leading voices in the EP are to come back (Krasnodębski, Legutko, Czarnecki, Poręba), while the fate of the others is unknown (Fotyga, Karski).
Patryk Jaki is the party rising star. However the public is a little bit tired of his face. Maybe he needs to age a little bit like Adam Bielan once did? With time Mr Bielan became more diplomatic. Probably the hope is that the public will be more accommodating of Mr Jaki in the future, too.
Last but not the least interesting is the pending question of how does Tadeusz Rydzyk lot fit the PiS candidates list. The test case: Mirosław Piotrowski.