Discord in Polish opposition

Tensions were running high in Poland’s opposition Civic Platform on Thursday after party bosses excluded three MPs amid signs of growing divisions.

The members excluded from the Civic Platform (PO) party and the parliamentary club by the party board for “harming the image of the Civic Platform” and “acting to the detriment of the party” are Jacek Protasiewicz, Stanisław Huskowski and Michał Kamiński.

Party head Grzegorz Schetyna submitted a motion to exclude the MPs to the board during a session on Wednesday and it was passed by an absolute majority, although several important party members objected, including Ewa Kopacz, the PM in the previous PO-led government.

The board’s decision met with protests from some PO members, especially prominent and outspoken member Stefan Niesiołowski, who is reported to have been the author of a letter to the board requesting the decision to be revoked.

According to unofficial sources, the letter was signed by between 20 and 30 PO MPs.

Niesiołowski was critical of the decision to exclude the MPs and of party leader Schetyna, saying that PO is heading for a “period of decline and internal feuds, excluding members or purges.”

However, tempers seemed to calm down after a meeting of the PO parliamentary club later on Thursday.

“I think such discussions are necessary to avoid mistakes in future, we need discussions in the [parliamentary] club to know that we all… must today put the value of the PO before any personal ambitions,” Kopacz told journalists after the meeting.

She also said that she is a supporter of “a tough discussion with people who harm the PO”, but one should differentiate between “harming PO and reviewing decisions taken by the board.” Niesiołowski said that he was “very cautiously” optimistic that PO is closer to reconciliation.

The party board will be meeting again on Friday at 4 pm.

After the exclusion of the three MPs, the PO parliamentary club has now 134 MPs.

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