Szydło accepts Kopacz’s debate challenge

Andrzej Duda (L) and Beata Szydło (R) next to the renamed PiS campaign bus. Photo: PAP

Andrzej Duda (L) and Beata Szydło (R) next to the renamed PiS campaign bus. Photo: PAP

Opposition Law and Justice (PiS) candidate for the autumn’s parliamentary elections Beata Szydło has said she accepts the challenge of a live debate with PM Ewa Kopacz of the governing Civic Platform (PO).

At her party’s convention on Saturday Kopacz challenged PiS president Jarosław Kaczyński to a debate. She said she is also prepared to debate with Szydło, or both together.

Szydło managed PiS candidate Andrzej Duda’s successful presidential election campaign in May. She was selected by Kaczyński to head the party’s parliamentary election team last week after the ex-PM decided not to run.

“I am not afraid of debating anyone and will gladly sit down to talk,” Szydło said, although added that she was not convinced of the authenticity of the invitation. “This was a PR stunt designed just to draw attention,” she said.

“I have the sense that it was thrown out ad hoc due to the fact that PO’s convention, hailed as a programmatic meeting, didn’t actually provide a very impressive programme,” Szydło said. PO said it would release its programme in September, only a short time before the elections.

Szydło today starts her election campaign, touring the country on the same bus (the “Dudabus”) used by incoming president, Duda, during his election campaign in May. “Today, the most important thing is a debate with the Polish people,” she added.

Duda himself spoke of the road ahead. “This is a road of meeting with people, a road of listening. People are very often in difficult situations and want to tell their stories, and it’s very important to listen.”

The latest opinion poll puts PO and PiS neck and neck. (jh)

Categories: News in English

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