Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

My decision to withdraw from the Democratic Left Alliance Party (SLD) was made 23 years after joining its predecessor the Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland. (SdPR). At that time, in the Congress Hall (Sala Kongresowa) it was cold and scary. As a spokesperson of that meeting I had a doubtful pleasure of informing the delegates about the statements on us that were successively being made public. Basically, we were cursed from the very beginning – for our roots of the communist Polish United Worker’s Party (PzPR), for the inheritance from this late formation. In general, we were cursed for the fact that we indeed existed. Life of victorious “Solidarity” (Solidarnosc) was supposed to be better and easier without post-communists.

Under the leadership of Aleksander Kwasniewski, a group of activists left the Congress Hall. Against all odds, they decided to fight for the left wing in the democratic Poland. Many of them struggled for the history of their own lives and that was equally important. If we had laid down arms then, we would have been treated as the criminals of the previous political system.

I recall that times since not many people remember that apart from a dispute between us, there was also cooperation. There were many fights, but loyalty and friendliness were the rules. The rules which almost all obliged. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw 10% support for Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz the year later and almost 50 seats for SLD in the first democratically elected parliament.

My decision to resign from the party was based on my belief that the line followed by the party leadership does not guarantee success.

What lacks, according to me, is a pragmatic cooperation with Palikot’s Movement. By pragmatic I mean particular, in matters where both parties speak with the same voice. Not for the annual academies and manifestations, but for burdensome parliamentary activity.

What is, furthermore, missing, is the idea to cooperate with Aleksander Kwasniewski, who could help us if he wanted to. But first of all, if WE wanted him to help. And we didn’t.

I presented my point of view during the meeting of SLD leaders in Spala at the end of October. As a response I got the message that my idea was wrong. I was trying to start a substantial dispute then. With no results though.

You may be in the politics having a 10% support. You may have good ideas. You may take part in media debates. But your influence on final decision is none. We have been stuck in that state for 9 years already, since the 2004 election.

I do not withdraw from politics, I remain the Member of the S&D Group and I will carefully observe what will happen at Polish political arena. Who will notice that the problem described by me has indeed existed.

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