>Polish Women’s Party set to spring electoral surprise?

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Meanwhile, the surprise package of the Polish elections seems not to be the pernsioners party, but the newly formed Women’s Party (Partia Kobiet), whose Polish language website can be found here. Its founders semi-nude campaign posters have attracted the requisitie amount of outrage from the Church and (crucially) media coverage, including a report in The Times. Despite this media savvy crashing of the headlines, the party seems a politically very serious initiative and, interestingly, differs from women’s parties elsewhere in post-communist Europe in being more overtly feminist and intelligenstsia-based and less based on women’s organisations with roots in the old regime and preoccupied with fighting rearguard actions to defend socialist-era welfare provisions. Newness, media coverage, the backing of female celebrities and response to issues not well addressed in Poland’s male-dominated political class may add to a recipe for political success for the Partia Kobiet, which (on a reported 3%) is positioned not too far off the 5% threshold needed to entered parliament and – more crucially – to overcome potential voters’ concerned that a vote for the PK might be wasted on a non-parliamentary also-ran.

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