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Nearly half a million people took part in an anti-government demonstration in Warsaw

Nearly half a million people took part in an anti-government demonstration in Warsaw

June 4, 2023 – 10:37 PM

Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk attends an anti-government rally organized to celebrate the 34th anniversary of the first post-communist democratic elections in Warsaw, June 4, 2023. According to the organizers, half a million people turned out for the demonstration. Large crowds also took to the streets in other Polish cities – Image: AFP / Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto

Ursula Kaiser

Some 500,000 people took part in the Warsaw demonstration against the ruling Law and Justice party, The Guardian reports. Politico. Many held anti-government banners, while others showed up at the demonstration with red and white flags, which coincided with the 34th anniversary of Poland’s first free elections in the post-communist period.

The demonstration was led by former Polish Prime Minister and former President of the Council of Europe, Donald Tusk, who is currently trying to defeat the Law and Justice party in the upcoming elections as leader of the Civic Program party.

It was one of the largest political demonstrations in Poland, which came just days after Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a controversial law establishing a commission to investigate Russian influence. The committee will have wide-ranging powers, including banning those found to have made political decisions under Russian influence from public office for ten years. According to the Polish opposition, the committee will use its sanctions to remove Tusk from the political scene.

After criticism in Poland, as well as in the USA and the European Union, President Duda called for limiting the rights and powers of the commission, but this would require another parliamentary vote.

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Close elections are expected in Poland in the fall, according to a Politico survey. Tusk’s civic platform is currently behind the Law and Justice party. However, the ruling party does not have enough support to guarantee a majority in Parliament after the elections.

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