Poland’s rising star launches centrist movement

A journalist-turned-celebrity who burst out of nowhere to score third spot in Poland’s weekend presidential race, launched a centrist movement on Tuesday seeking to fill a gap on the country’s polarized political scene

Warsaw, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 30th Jun, 2020 ) :A journalist-turned-celebrity who burst out of nowhere to score third spot in Poland‘s weekend presidential race, launched a centrist movement on Tuesday seeking to fill a gap on the country’s polarized political scene.

Szymon Holownia, a former tv host, scored 13.87 percent of the popular vote in Sunday‘s round one of the presidential election, behind right-wing frontrunner President Andrzej Duda and liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski.

Holownia came ahead of several other more established politicians.

An independent who presents himself as a progressive Catholic, Holownia is buoyed by centre-right voters seeking alternatives on Poland‘s polarised political scene, split between the governing populists and opposition liberals.

“Based on the wonderful momentum that propelled the (presidential) campaign, we are launching a social movement, a civic movement, which will be called ‘Poland 2050′,” Holownia told reporters in Warsaw.

While the movement will refrain from endorsing any candidate in the July 12 run-off, Holownia said he would vote against the “vision presented in the presidency of Andrzej Duda”.

Both Duda and Trzaskowski are scrambling for the support of nine other also-ran candidates in what promises to be a knife-edge race, although surveys currently suggest Duda will win by a narrow margin.

Duda is allied with the Law and Justice (PiS) government and was key to implementing its popular social welfare payments but also endorsed other polarising legislation, especially judicial reforms pilloried by the EU as undermining democratic standards.

Holownia, 43, became a household name as a co-host of the popular Polish edition of the “Got Talent!” TV show franchise.

Capitalizing on his fame, he left to make his political debut in this year’s presidential race.

He is a keen supporter of Poland‘s membership of the European Union and the NATO Western defence alliance.

A humanitarian known for his charity work in Africa, Holownia is also a vegetarian and an animal rights activist. He trained to become a Dominican friar before taking up journalism.

He is married to Urszula Brzezinska-Holownia, a MIG-29 jet fighter pilot in the Polish airforce.

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