UPDATE: Zalek quits Civic Platform, casting shadow on coalition majority
PR dla Zagranicy
Jacek Zalek left the ruling Civic Platform, Thursday morning, calling upon Jaroslaw Gowin – a close colleague who himself quit on Monday – to “take that hard decision” to lead a new political group in parliament.
Jacek Zalek tenders his resignation, 12.09.2013 Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell
“My election slogan was ‘a heart to fight’ and not ‘a mouth to gag’ – without dialogue it is hard to work, and I don’t want to fight with my own party about the promises that I made to my own electorate,” explained Zalek during a press conference on Thursday morning in the Sejm lower parliamentary house.
The departure of Jacek Zalek leaves the coalition of Civic Platform and the Polish Peasants’ Party hanging in the balance, as now it holds just 231 out of a total 460 seats in the Sejm lower parliamentary house.
Jacek Zalek joins Jaroslaw Gowin and John Godson – all considered to have been the more socially conservative members of Civic Platform – in becoming an independent MP in parliament.
All three MPs broke party discipline in July during a vote on Poland’s budget, leading the party’s boss and Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, to threaten rebel MPs with banishment from Civic Platform.
It is speculated that potential allies of Godson, Gowin, and Zalek in forming a new parliamentary group are Pawel Kowal of Poland Comes First – which has been non-existent in polls since the last general election in 2011 – as well as Przemyslaw Wipler’s Republican association. Both MPs formed the groups after leaving the major conservative opposition Law and Justice. (jb)