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Poland’s ruling, opposition parties hold electoral meetings

June 20, 2015

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The leader of Poland’s opposition Law and Justice party on Saturday named his deputy Beata Szydlo as the party’s candidate for prime minister in case it wins the general elections this autumn.

At a party convention, Jaroslaw Kaczynski praised Szydlo, 53, as “honest” and “hard-working.” She has experience from local government and from parliament and currently leads the party’s electoral campaign.

She was also in charge of Law and Justice’s presidential campaign earlier this year, which led to the victory of its candidate Andrzej Duda who will take office on Aug. 6. The victory was a great boost for the conservative party and raised expectations that it can defeat the ruling, pro-business Civic Platform party in parliamentary elections, expected in October.

At the convention Szydlo said that not all Poles are benefiting from the country’s economic growth and that it’s time to change that.

She promised a higher tax-free income level, a reversal of the recent increase of the retirement age and new benefits for families with children.

At a simultaneous convention, Civic Platform, in power since 2007, was seeking to improve its position, strained by the presidential loss, a wiretapping scandal and some unpopular decisions.

“We have been in power for almost eight years and we’ve accumulated some mistakes,” Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said. “Some of us simply failed. We are admitting it and we are saying that we are sorry.”

She promised to increase the minimum wage and to introduce better job and housing programs for young people.

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