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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Local elections 2024. Five in the fight for Warsaw

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Five candidates have confirmed their run for president. In addition to Rafał Trzaskowski, who is running for re-election, the National Electoral Commission registered: senator Magdalena Biejat, former voivode of Masovia Tobiasz Bocheński, MP Przemysław Wipler and Janusz Korwin-Mikke. We present their short profiles.

The local elections will be held on April 7. The second round of direct elections of commune heads, mayors and city presidents is scheduled for April 21. There are five candidates for the position of mayor in Warsaw. The deadline for submitting candidates for commune heads, mayors and city presidents to electoral commissions is Thursday, March 14.

In less than a month, there will be local elections. What you need to know.

Magdalena Biejat

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A resident of Warsaw by birth, she is a translator of Spanish-language literature by profession. All her political activity was concentrated in Warsaw. In 2015, she joined the Razem party, where she sat on the board of its capital structures. In 2022, she was elected co-chair of Lewica Razem (together with Adrian Zandberg).

After unsuccessful local elections in 2018 (she ran from the list of Jan Śpiewak's “Wygra Warszawa” committee for the Praga Północ District Council) and elections to the European Parliament, a year later she won the mandate of a member of the 9th term of the Sejm. In last year's parliamentary elections, she was the Left's candidate for the Senate with the support of other parties as part of the Senate pact. In district number 45, she won over 200,000 votes (over 72% in the district). She became the deputy speaker of the 11th term of the Senate.

Magdalena BiejatTVN24

In the race for the presidency of Warsaw, she is a joint candidate of the Left and the Miasto Jest Nasze association. After announcing her participation in the elections, she defined her three main priorities: investments in social housing, access to good public education and a safe and friendly public space.

In its program for education, it promises to reduce class sizes to 20 people, provide free tutoring and meals in schools, and calm traffic around schools.

In her opinion, the capital is struggling with the problem of lack of cheap apartments for rent. He believes that the city has enough money and land to build such facilities.

In matters of transport, she is a supporter of creating a coherent network of bicycle paths and bus lanes wherever buses are stuck in traffic jams. According to Biejat, the city should first build new tram lines: to Gocław, along Modlińska and Zielona Białołęka, and only then invest in the expensive metro.

Magdalena Biejat about investing in apartments TVN24

Tobiasz Bocheński

Born in Łódź, doctor of law by education, living in Warsaw since 2023. The president of the party, Jarosław Kaczyński, anointed him as the candidate of Law and Justice for the mayor of Warsaw in the April elections at the beginning of February. When announcing his decision, the PiS MP argued that Bocheński meets all the intellectual requirements to govern the capital. He also emphasized that Warsaw was a great challenge.

The candidate himself is rather moderately recognized in the capital. He already had his office at Bankowy Square, but next door to the town hall – in the Masovian Voivodeship Office. He started his political career in the office of the Łódź Voivode in 2015, when the position was held by Zbigniew Rau, who later became Minister of Foreign Affairs in the PiS government. Bocheński was his assistant and advisor, then replaced him when Rau received the ministerial portfolio in 2019. He was the voivode of Łódź until 2023. Then there was a vacancy in Mazovia after Konstanty Radziwiłł, who accepted the nomination as Polish ambassador to Lithuania. In April, former Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki appointed Tobiasz Bocheński as the voivode of Masovia.

Tobiasz BocheńskiPaweł Supernak/PAP

During only a few months in office, Bocheński became known as a critic of the Palace of Culture and Science, which he considers an “an eyesore” and a symbol of communist power, as well as the incumbent authorities of the capital. The disputes concerned, among others: expanding the paid parking zone in Saska Kępa and Kamionek, the clean transport zone, as well as handing over to the city the school building at Kielecka 45, which had been taken from the Embassy of the Russian Federation.

In the campaign that has just started, the election banners include proposals such as: decongesting Warsaw and the Wavo application for residents, where – according to the originator – they will be able to decide what tree they want to plant on their street or where to build a sidewalk.

Bocheński wants to build two metro lines at the same time: the third, criticized for its route, from the National Stadium to Gocław and the fourth from Tarchomin to Wilanów. He emphasizes that it is also important to promote urban transport among residents, from the youngest generations. That's why he promises to introduce a free ticket for high school students after the elections.

The PiS candidate also announced that if he wins the elections, the first vice-president of Warsaw in the city hall under his rule will be Barbara Socha, former government plenipotentiary for demographic policy and former deputy minister of family.

Tobiasz Bocheński at the PiS convention on the need to decongest Warsaw

Tobiasz Bocheński at the PiS convention on the need to decongest WarsawTVN24

Janusz Korwin-Mikke

Associated with Warsaw from birth, doyen of the right wing, philosopher by education. During his many years of political career, he founded parties four times: Real Politics Union, Freedom and the Rule of Law, Congress of the New Right and New Hope. He was also one of the leaders of the Confederation. He is a veteran of all types of elections. He ran in 29 elections, including five times for the office of President of the Republic of Poland. He succeeded only three times: he obtained a parliamentary mandate twice (1991 and 2019) and once became a member of the European Parliament (2014).

He ran for president of the capital several times. The first time was in 2006, then in 2010, and then in 2018. He never made it to the second round. In the previous elections for the mayor of Warsaw, just over 11.5 thousand city residents voted for him, which gave support at the level of 1.29%.

He was the last of five candidates to announce his participation in the April elections. He is running from the list of the Niepartyjni Election Committee. At the conference inaugurating his campaign, he stated that his goal “is to destroy Mr. Trzaskowski.” He also said he wanted to “unmask” him. – To make Warsaw a normal city – he said.

He claims that Warsaw should be “car-friendly”. However, public transport should function, but it is not the basis of transport.

President of the KORWiN party, Janusz Korwin-Mikke Leszek Szymański/PAP

Rafał Trzaskowski

A resident of Warsaw, doctor of political science, university lecturer. Declares knowledge of five foreign languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian and Italian.

Rafał Trzaskowski has been involved in politics at various levels for over 20 years. He was an advisor to the secretary of the Committee for European Integration, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, and then to the Civic Platform delegation in the European Parliament. He himself won the mandate of an MEP in the 2009 elections.

In 2010, he was the head of the electoral staff of Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, when she ran for the first term as mayor of Warsaw. In Donald Tusk's government, he was Minister of Administration and Digitalization for 10 months. In 2014, already in Ewa Kopacz's government, he became Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the 2015 elections, he was elected as an MP.

In 2018, there was a turn towards local politics. He was presented as a joint candidate of the Civic Platform and Nowoczesna for the president of Warsaw. He won in the first round with over 56 percent of the votes. His main competitor, Patryk Jaki from PiS, obtained just over 28 percent.

In 2020, he ran for the president of the Republic of Poland. He lost slightly to Andrzej Duda. Over 48 percent of voters voted for Trzaskowski.

Trzaskowski's slogan, with which he entered the April local elections, was: “Simply Warsaw”. – While other candidates are looking for ideas for themselves, I have been implementing my idea for the city with you for over five years. When they promise you changes, I simply change Warsaw, emphasizes Trzaskowski.

Trzaskowski gave his election slogan

Trzaskowski gave his election sloganTVN24

The candidate for re-election emphasizes that the priority in the next term will be investments in education: building more schools, kindergartens and nurseries. Trzaskowski emphasizes that it is necessary to ensure the availability of psychological care for the youngest. New initiatives include additional, free English lessons for preschoolers and online mathematics classes for primary school students.

Trzaskowski is a supporter of the development of rail transport. Its priority is the construction of the third metro line and the expansion of the connection network with additional tram lines.

The candidate of the Civic Coalition emphasizes that the upcoming elections are about the continuation of what his team is currently doing for the inhabitants of the capital. He announces the completion of several key investments this year: the New Center of Warsaw with Centralny Square, the new building of the Museum of Modern Art and the transformed Chmielna Street, the pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting Śródmieście with Praga Północ, and finally the completion of the construction of the tram line, which is bothering the residents. to Wilanów.

Rafał Trzaskowski about investments in the capital (statement from February 11)

Rafał Trzaskowski about investments in the capital (statement from February 11)TVN24

Przemysław Wipler

He was born in Piekary Śląskie. He became involved with Warsaw while studying. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw.

He has been involved in politics for over 20 years. Already in 2002, he tried his hand at elections to the Warsaw council – without success. In 2011, he was elected as an MP from the Law and Justice party. Four years later, he failed to repeat this success.

In 2017, he announced that he was leaving politics. He started running a business in the PR industry. He returned after a few years. In the 2023 parliamentary elections, Wipler received number one on the Confederation's list in Toruń and 13,457 votes. This gave him a mandate as an MP.

In 2013, after drinking alcohol, he participated in a brawl with the police in Mazowiecka Street, where the capital's club center is located. The politician initially claimed that he was attacked by an officer, but was later convicted. He did not appeal against the first-instance judgment.

Moreover, a few years ago he was accused of misappropriating money from the Freedom and Hope Foundation (it was supposed to be responsible for bringing Poles living in exile back to the country). Wipler was its president, and the headquarters of this organization was the politician's house. It was about 150 thousand. PLN in the years 2014-2017. The verdict in this case has not yet been rendered.

Przemysław WiplerLeszek Szymański/PAP

Main photo source: PAP

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