Polish president's contender in July 12 run-off launches civic movement

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

President Andrzej Duda's challenger in Poland's last presidential vote and Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski launched a new civic movement "One Poland" in Warsaw on Saturday.

"We are inaugurating a movement that aims for Poland, where the end never justifies the means, where the law is the foundation of the state's actions, the law always comes first, even if it is against the interests of the authorities, where everyone, regardless of nationality, religion, political views, origin or sexual orientation, has the same rights, Trzaskowski told the launch event.

He said that Poles have never been "as much divided as they are today".

"Ten million Polish women and Poles voted for President Andrzej Duda, 10 million for me, and, unfortunately, as many as 10 million stayed at home," Trzaskowski said.

Therefore, he added, he is setting up a movement whose aim is "to define a decalogue of matters that we all look at in the same way."

The new movement is to be a space for dialogue and cooperation between local government officials, NGOs, experts, politicians and all good-willed people, Trzaskowski said.

He also vowed to establish a "New Solidarity" trade union that would represent the self-employed and those working on the so-called "trash" job contracts, non-standard employment forms, giving less long term job security.

Warsaw Mayor also reiterated his proposal from the presidential election campaign to increase spending on health care to 6 percent of GDP.

His other ideas include the setting up of a grant fund for young people for educational activities related the climate crisis and the "Modern School" programme envisaging funds for more extra-curricular activities for pupils.

Trzaskowski also announced stronger cooperation with organisations fighting for the rights of women, the disabled and sexual minorities.