Polish opposition holds massive Warsaw rally ahead of tight election

WARSAW, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Hundreds of hundreds of folks held an opposition rally in Warsaw on Sunday, two weeks ahead of an election that the liberal Civic Platform (PO) says might determine Poland’s future within the European Union and its democratic standing.

Opinion polls recommend the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) authorities may win the vote however might battle to type a majority amid discontent amongst some over rising dwelling prices and concern over an erosion of democratic checks and balances.

Warsaw metropolis authorities stated about one million folks attended within the capital’s greatest rally on report. Public broadcaster TVP, which impartial media observers say has turn out to be a authorities mouthpiece underneath PiS rule, quoted police saying about 100,000 folks had joined.

Online information channel stated that in line with its calculations some 600,000-800,000 folks attended the rally.

Some carried banners saying “PiSexit” or “The cat can stay”, referring to the pet animal of PiS chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

The opposition is hoping the march galvanises voters to take part within the election, giving it an opportunity to come back ahead.

“Big change is coming. This is a sign of Poland’s rebirth,” PO chief Donald Tusk advised crowds gathered in a central Warsaw sq., many individuals waving Polish and EU flags.

Tusk, a former European Council president, has stated PiS may goal to take Poland out of the EU, one thing the social gathering denies, and has framed the election as essential for minority and girls’s rights.

PiS, in energy since 2015, has campaigned on a pledge to maintain migrants out of Poland, saying that was key for nationwide safety, and to proceed funnelling cash in direction of households and the aged.

“I want to be free, be in the EU, I want to have a say, I want to have free courts,” stated Hanna Chaciewicz, a 59-year-old dentist from Otwock, a city exterior of Warsaw.

PiS denies western criticism that it has subverted democratic norms and says its reforms of the judiciary are aimed toward making the nation fairer and free of vestiges of communism, whereas its modifications to public media rid it of overseas affect.

But it has but to realize entry to billions of euros in EU COVID restoration funds which Brussels has withheld over the Polish court docket reforms.

“Everybody is investing in jobs, in fighting the climate catastrophe. And we have been denied this money because someone has decided to destroy democracy in Poland,” Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, a senior PO member, advised these on the rally.

Reporting by Justyna Pawlak, Marek Strzelecki and Kuba Stezycki; Editing by Hugh Lawson, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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