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Largest parties may spend over EUR 22 mln on election campaign

Poland’s largest political parties may allocate a total of over PLN 100 million (EUR 22 million) for the general election campaign this autumn, PAP has calculated.

Poland is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections this autumn, but the exact date is yet to be set by the country’s president.

In Poland, parties receive state subsidies that depend on the number of votes cast for particular parties in the most recent parliamentary elections. The state electoral body PKW also sets campaign spending limits based on the number of registered voters. The limit totalled slightly more than PLN 30 million (EUR 6.75 million) per party in the 2019 general elections.

According to the announcements of politicians from the largest political groupings, the autumn parliamentary campaign will be record-breaking in terms of the amounts that the electoral staffs intend to spend.

Radoslaw Fogiel, an MP with the ruling party, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS), told PAP that PiS intends to spend “as much as is legally allowed.”

Fogiel recalled that during the previous parliamentary elections in 2019, the two largest committees – PiS and their main rival, the centrist Civic Coalition (KO), spent about PLN 30 million (EUR 6.75 million) each on the campaign and added that “in the upcoming campaign, we intend to use a similar amount.”

Marcin Kierwinski, the secretary general of KO, told PAP that his group “will certainly use the possible limit.”

The Third Way, a joint list of the agrarian Polish People’s Party (PSL) and centre-right Poland 2050 told the weekly Wprost that the parties had agreed to split the cost of the campaign. The coalition committee is planned to have PLN 20 million (EUR 4.5 million) at its disposal, which means that the parties must contribute PLN 10 million (EUR 2.25 million) each.

Poland 2050 is a new grouping that did not exist in 2019, therefore it has no access to public funding and needs to rely on donors for the 2023 campaign.

Dariusz Wieczorek, the secretary of the Left parliamentary caucus, said that party plans to spend “about 10-15 million zlotys (EUR 2.25-3.38 million) for sure.”

The far-right Confederation plans to allocate for the campaign about PLN 10 million (EUR 2.25 million), however, “everything depends on the generosity of donors,” said Witold Tumanowicz, the head of the party’s electoral staff.

According to the reports submitted to the PKW, in the last parliamentary campaign of 2019, PiS spent about PLN 30 million (EUR 6.75 million), KO about PLN 30.2 million (EUR 6.83 million), PSL about PLN 8.5 million (EUR 1.92 million) and Confederation about PLN 1.7 million (EUR 384,463.)

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