Former PM Miller: One TV debate cost United Left place in parliament
PR dla Zagranicy
Leszek Miller, one of the chief figures in Poland's United Left coalition that narrowly missed the 8 percent threshold needed to enter parliament, has said that one televised debate sealed the coalition's fate.
Leszek Miller after exit polls were announced on election night (25 October). Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański
According to the official results released on Tuesday concerning Sunday's general election, the United Left garnered 7.55 percent of the vote, just short of the 8 percent needed.
The socially conservative Law and Justice won with 37.58 percent, defeating Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz's centrist Civic Platform (24.09 percent).
Meanwhile, new left-wing formation the Together Party, which was fronted by Adrian Zandberg in a televised debate of eight PM candidates on 20 October, gained 3.62 percent, having previously performed considerably worse in opinion polls.
“Had it not been for that debate and a very good performance by Adrian Zandberg, the outcome would have been very different for the United Left,” Miller argued in an interview with TOK FM.
“One debate deprived us of the chance to enter parliament,” he claimed.
The election results were calamitous for the Polish left. As a single party, the Together Party needed 5 percent of the vote to enter parliament. Ultimately neither the United Left nor the Together Party has managed to take any seats.
Leszek Miller was prime minister from 2001 to 2004, in a government led by his Democratic Left Alliance party.
The Democratic Alliance was created by former members of Poland's pre-1989 communist party (Miller himself is a former communist). This baggage is frequently cited by political commentators as being a major obstacle in the party's bids to win over floating voters. (nh/rk)