MP from Lewica Razem, Daria Gosek-Popiołek, supported Łukasz Gibała, a candidate for the mayor of Krakow, in the upcoming local elections. Razem’s coalition partners from Nowa Lewica have distanced themselves from the parliamentarian’s decision, and left-wing activists criticize Gosek-Popiołek for her position. In an interview with tvn24.pl, Łukasz Gibała revealed that Razem activists will be on the lists of Kraków for Residents.
Daria Gosek-Popiołek, an MP from Lewica Razem elected from Krakow, supported in the coming years elections local government candidates for the mayor of Krakow, Łukasz Gibała. He is a city councilor, the leader of Krakow for Residents, who has been trying for years to replace Jacek Majchrowski as the president of the city. Non-partisan, although in the past he was associated with the Civic Platform and the Palikot Movement (for them he was an MP for two terms).
Daria Gosek-Popiołek, who is a member of the Sejm for the second time in a row, emphasized that the foundation of her support for Gibała’s candidacy is “several years of successful joint activities, values that unite us and a similar view of Krakow and the needs of its inhabitants.” – Although we come from different backgrounds, we want and are able to cooperate. We both have come a long way and were able to draw conclusions from various, even difficult, experiences and political trials. We also know that the city should be created for everyone, regardless of gender, age, financial means or level of ability, she said.
– We have had many successes together, including initiating the opening of an intimate care point for residents of Krakow, publicizing irregularities in the construction of the tram to Górka Narodowa and a resolution limiting the sale of urban land and real estate – added Łukasz Gibała.
Division in the Krakow Left
Gosek-Popiołek thus resigned from the fight for the office of mayor of the city. In the previous election, in 2018, she received only 1.38 percent of the votes. Gibała could count on the support of just over 17 percent, placing him in third place.
After Gibała’s declaration of support, the local authorities of the Lesser Poland and Krakow New Left – a coalition partner of Lewica Razem – distanced themselves from Gosek-Popiołek’s position.
“MP Daria Gosek-Popiołek belongs to and represents the Lewica Razem party and only this political formation formally supported Łukasz Gibala and his committee,” we read in the statement. Added that New Left has not yet decided on the party’s participation in the local elections in Krakow – details will be announced only in 2024.
Gosek-Popiołek got to the Sejm from second place on the list, scoring much better than Krakow’s “number one”, former MP Maciej Gdula from the New Left. The coalition did not forget about the latter, because in the new government he became deputy minister of science and higher education.
Gdula’s close collaborator and founder of the Kraków Against the Games association, Tomasz Leśniak from Nowa Lewica, in a social media post criticized the decision of the Lewica Razem authorities to support Gibała. “I don’t understand why the environment carries the slogan ‘Poland for millions, not for millionaires!’ supports an extreme economic neoliberal who explained his departure from the Civic Platform to the Palikot Movement, among other things, by the failure to implement the demand for a flat tax and his opposition to increases for uniformed services and teachers,” we read in his entry.
The activist listed a list of Gibała’s demands from 2011, which differ from what Razem postulates. This is, for example, liquidation minimum wage, “privatization of all state-owned enterprises (except for sectors in which there must be a monopoly)” and reduction of social spending. “It sounds like an ideal coalition partner for the Confederation. So how did the alliance with Raz come about? I hope that the Krakow structures will reconsider their decision and return to implementing the slogan ‘another policy is possible’,” Leśniak wrote.
“A lot of money and little details”
A Krakow activist for people is critical of the decision of the Lewica Razem MP LGBT+ and member of the New Left Magdalena Dropek. “No, not the entire Left supported Łukasz Gibała as a candidate for the president of Krakow” – with these words she began her post on social media.
“There is no denying it – our colleagues from Raz have put us in a difficult situation in which we may go to the elections in different configurations, but there are still various conversations going on, because the point is to be able to implement our ideas and take responsibility for co-governance and change,” wrote Dropek.
The New Left activist emphasized that she respects Gibała for her determination and commitment to the fight for greenery. However, he believes that the councilor’s group – Kraków for Residents – is “an initiative that has a lot of money and little specifics. And built on one tactic – criticism of Jacek Majchrowski and his team, built on spoiling local politics for this reason, antagonizing me,” I write. Honestly, it discouraged her for a very long time,” we read in the entry.
Together on Gibała’s lists
Another MP from Krakow – Aleksander Miszalski from the Civic Coalition, this group’s candidate for the president of Krakow – often appeared with Daria Gosek-Popiołek at press conferences. Parliamentarians have often acted together on issues related to, among others, environmental protection. We ask if he is not disappointed that the MP from Lewica Razem did not decide to support him.
– I respect Daria Gosek-Popiołek very much, we often worked together, but this is the decision of the party board. It is not without significance that Gibała helped her in the election campaign, in which she achieved a very good result, so maybe this is some form of revenge – said Miszalski.
The politician added that he “expected such a decision, although he is a bit surprised by Łukasz Gibała’s attitude.” – He has been avoiding national politics for some time, saying that it should not interfere with local government, he has distanced himself from “partisanship”, and now he is not bothered by the support of Lewica Razem. This is a lack of consistency – says the KO MP.
Gibała himself revealed in an interview with tvn24.pl that activists of Lewica Razem will appear on the list of Krakow for Residents. – We are open to applications from various people from very different backgrounds, including the Razem party. Potentially good candidates from this group are Aleksandra Owca and Ewa Owerczuk. We’ll see what happens next, there’s still a lot of time left. We will consider each candidacy individually. We have already reached agreements with some city movements and will soon announce further information about the shape of our non-partisan civic committee, said Gibała.
When asked about the program, Gibała emphasized that “during program talks, it turned out that we have many points in common with Raz.” – These include, for example, the demand for a ban on the sale of municipal apartments, care for green areas and their protection against development, and increasing subsidies for non-governmental organizations. We also want a reform of subsidizing urban culture, so that more money is allocated to grassroots initiatives, added the candidate for the mayor of Krakow.
Local government elections in Krakow. Candidates
So far, the following people have announced their participation in the elections for the office of the mayor of Krakow: Rector of the University of Economics, Dr. Hab. Stanisław Mazur, KO MP Aleksander Miszalski and a non-party candidate supported by the current president Jacek Majchrowski – Andrzej Kulig.
Main photo source: press materials