Polish left-wing party votes in new leader
PR dla Zagranicy
Włodzimierz Czarzasty was voted in as the new leader of Poland's Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) on Saturday.
Włodzimierz Czarzasty (R) shakes hands with outgoing leader of the Democratic Left Alliance Leszek Miller. Photo: PAP/Pawel Supernak
Czarzasty replaces Leszek Miller, a former prime minister who led Poland's government from 2001 to 2004.
The 55-year-old new leader beat challenger Jerzy Wenderlich by 428 votes to 327 during Saturday's SLD party congress.
The October 25 general election was a disaster for the Polish left, and currently SLD does not have a single MP in the lower house of parliament.
SLD had joined forces with Your Movement, the Polish Socialist Party, Labour United and the Greens in the autumn elections. However, as a coalition, the grouping was required to gain 8 percent of the vote to enter parliament – it garnered 7.55 percent.
Meanwhile, newly created left-wing party Together took 3.62 percent, failing to cross the 5 percent threshold needed by single parties.
Like Miller, Czarzasty was once a member of Poland's communist party [Polish United Workers' Party], until it was dissolved in January 1990. (nh/pk)