Donald Tusk is a Polish politician who served as the prime minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014 and as the president of the European Council from 2014 to 2019. He is also the leader of the Civic Platform (PO), a liberal-conservative party that is the main opposition to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS), a conservative-nationalist party.
In November 2020, Tusk announced his intention to return to Polish politics and to challenge PiS in the next parliamentary election in 2023. He also declared his support for Rafał Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw and the PO candidate who lost to Andrzej Duda, the PiS candidate, in the presidential election in 2020.
However, Tusk’s return to Polish politics has sparked a backlash and a controversy among many Poles who accuse him of being dishonest, incompetent, or unpatriotic. Some of them have launched a campaign called Apel TuskBezHonoru (Appeal TuskWithoutHonor) to denounce Tusk and his political agenda.
In this blog post, we will review the campaign and its main arguments, supporters, and goals. We will also discuss the reactions and criticisms that the campaign has received from various groups and individuals, such as PO, PiS, or the public. We will also share our own opinion and evaluation of the campaign.
The Campaign and Its Main Arguments
The campaign Apel TuskBezHonoru was launched in December 2020 by a group of activists, journalists, and politicians who oppose Tusk and his return to Polish politics. The campaign has a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a YouTube channel, where it publishes its statements, videos, or petitions.
The campaign has several main arguments against Tusk and his return to Polish politics. Some of them include:
- Tusk is dishonest and dishonorable because he abandoned Poland in 2014 when he left his position as prime minister to become the president of the European Council. He also betrayed his voters and his party by leaving them without a leader or a strategy.
- Tusk is incompetent and irresponsible because he failed to solve or prevent various problems or crises that affected Poland during his tenure as prime minister or as president of the European Council. He also wasted or misused public funds or resources for his personal or political interests.
- Tusk is unpatriotic and anti-Polish because he supported or implemented various policies or actions that harmed or threatened Poland’s sovereignty, security, or identity. He also collaborated or appeased various enemies or rivals of Poland, such as Russia, Germany, or the EU.
The campaign also claims that Tusk’s return to Polish politics is motivated by his fear of facing justice or accountability for his alleged crimes or scandals. The campaign also warns that Tusk’s return to Polish politics would bring back chaos, corruption, or division to Poland.
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The Supporters and Goals of the Campaign
The campaign Apel TuskBezHonoru has several supporters and allies who share its views and objectives. Some of them include:
- PiS: PiS is the ruling party in Poland that opposes PO and Tusk on various political and ideological grounds. PiS accuses PO and Tusk of being corrupt, incompetent, or unpatriotic. PiS also claims that PO and Tusk are controlled or influenced by foreign powers or interests, such as Germany, Russia, or the EU.
- Solidarna Polska (Solidarity Poland): Solidarity Poland is a conservative-nationalist party that is part of the ruling coalition with PiS. Solidarity Poland is led by Zbigniew Ziobro, the minister of justice and the prosecutor general in Poland. Ziobro is one of the most vocal critics of Tusk and has initiated various investigations or prosecutions against him.
- Gazeta Polska (Polish Newspaper): Gazeta Polska is a conservative weekly magazine that supports PiS and its policies. Gazeta Polska is edited by Tomasz Sakiewicz, one of the founders of Apel TuskBezHonoru. Gazeta Polska publishes various articles or reports that expose or criticize Tusk and his actions.
- Telewizja Republika (Republic TV): Republic TV is a conservative television channel that supports PiS and its policies. Republic TV is owned by Fratria, a media group that includes wPolityce.pl portal. Republic TV broadcasts various programs or interviews that denounce or challenge Tusk and his agenda.
The campaign Apel TuskBezHonoru has several goals and demands that it wants to achieve or fulfill. Some of them include:
- To inform and educate the public about the truth and the facts about Tusk and his return to Polish politics. To counter or debunk the lies or propaganda that are spread by Tusk or his supporters.
- To mobilize and organize the public to protest or resist Tusk and his return to Polish politics. To collect or submit signatures or petitions that oppose or reject Tusk or his candidacy.
- To pressure or persuade the authorities or the institutions to investigate or prosecute Tusk for his alleged crimes or scandals. To demand or seek justice or accountability for Tusk’s actions.
The Reactions and Criticisms of the Campaign
The campaign Apel TuskBezHonoru has received mixed reactions and criticisms from various groups and individuals in Poland. Some of them include:
- PO: PO is the main opposition party in Poland that supports Tusk and his return to Polish politics. PO accuses PiS and its allies of being authoritarian, incompetent, or divisive. PO also claims that PiS and its allies are using various tactics or tools to harass or intimidate Tusk or his supporters, such as smear campaigns, fake news, or judicial harassment.
- Lewica (The Left): The Left is a coalition of left-wing parties that competes with PO and PiS on various political and ideological grounds. The Left has a complex and ambivalent relationship with Tusk and his return to Polish politics. On one hand, the Left criticizes Tusk for being too conservative or neoliberal on various social or economic issues. On the other hand, the Left praises Tusk for being pro-European or pro-democratic on various political or institutional issues.
- The public: The public has a diverse and divided opinion on Tusk and his return to Polish politics. According to a survey conducted by IBRiS in December 2020, 40% of respondents said that they would vote for Tusk if he ran for prime minister in 2023, while 38% said that they would not vote for him. According to another survey conducted by Kantar in January 2021, 49% of respondents said that they had a positive opinion of Tusk, while 44% said that they had a negative opinion of him.
Our Opinion and Evaluation of the Campaign
We think that Apel TuskBezHonoru is a controversial and provocative campaign that reflects and reinforces the polarization and division of the Polish society and politics. We think that the campaign has some valid and legitimate points and arguments against Tusk and his return to Polish politics. We think that Tusk is not a perfect or flawless politician, and that he has made some mistakes or failures during his career. We think that Tusk should be held accountable or responsible for his actions, and that he should face fair and impartial justice or scrutiny.
However, we also think that the campaign has some biased and exaggerated points and arguments against Tusk and his return to Polish politics. We think that Tusk is not a dishonest or dishonorable politician, and that he has not abandoned or betrayed Poland. We think that Tusk is not an incompetent or irresponsible politician, and that he has achieved some successes or accomplishments during his career. We think that Tusk is not an unpatriotic or anti-Polish politician, and that he has defended or promoted Poland’s interests or values.
We think that the campaign is motivated by fear or hatred of Tusk and his return to Polish politics. We think that the campaign is using various tactics or tools to discredit or undermine Tusk and his political agenda. We think that the campaign is harming or damaging the quality and diversity of the Polish political scene.