Freedom Union (Poland)

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Freedom Union
Unia Wolności
ChairmanWładysław Frasyniuk (1999–2005)
Founded20 March 1994
Dissolved9 May 2005
Merger ofDemocratic Union
Liberal Democratic Congress
Splitting off the Alliance of Democrats
Succeeded byDemocratic Party (de iure)
Civic Platform (KLD faction)
IdeologyLiberalism
Social liberalism[1]
Christian democracy
Pro-Europeanism
Political positionCentre (Factions from Centre-left to Centre-right)
European affiliationEuropean Democrat Union

The Freedom Union (Polish: Unia Wolności, UW) was a liberal[2] democratic political party in Poland.

History[edit]

It was founded on 20 March 1994 out of the merger of the Democratic Union (Unia Demokratyczna, UD) and the Liberal Democratic Congress (Kongres Liberalno-Demokratyczny, KLD). Both of these parties had roots in the Solidarity trade union movement. It represented European democratic and liberal tradition, i.e., it advocated free market economy and individual liberty, rejected extremism and fanaticism, favoured European integration (in the form of European Union membership), rapid privatisation of the enterprises still owned by the Polish state and decentralisation of the government.

Timeline of Polish liberal parties after 1989
Citizens' Movement for Democratic Action /ROAD (1990–1991)
Liberal Democratic Congress /KLD (1990–1994)
Democratic Union /UD (1991–1994)
Freedom Union /UW (1994–2005)
Democratic Party /PD (2005– )
Palikot's Movement /RP (2011–2013)
Your Movement /TR (2013– )
Modern/.N (2015– )

In the 1991 general elections, the KLD received 7.5% of the vote and 37 seats in the Sejm (out of 460 seats) and the UD got 12.3% of the votes and 62 seats. In 1993 the KLD got 4.0% of the votes and was left without seats; the UD got 10.6% of the votes and 74 seats. In 1997 the UW got 13.4% of the votes and 60 seats.

In January 2001 some members of the FU decided to move to join the new Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska), which got 12.7% of the votes and 65 seats in the September 2001 general elections whilst the FU failed to cross the 5% threshold required to gain entry to the lower house of Parliament, receiving only 3.1%. Surprisingly, the FU managed to cross the required 5% threshold in the 2004 European Parliament elections, receiving 7% of votes and 4 of 54 seats reserved for Poland in the European Parliament as part of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, of which it was a member.

The initiative by the FU leadership to found the centre/social-liberal Democratic Party (Partia Demokratyczna – demokraci.pl) attracted a lot of attention. It was cofounded by Władysław Frasyniuk and economy minister Jerzy Hausner, joined by prime minister Marek Belka. Former FU member Tadeusz Mazowiecki also joined the initiative. Legally the centrist Democratic Party, founded 9 May 2005, is the successor of the FU.

Election results[edit]

Sejm[edit]

Election year # of
votes
% of
vote
# of
overall seats won
+/– Government
1997 1,749,518 13.4 (#3)
60 / 460
Decrease 14 AWS-UW (1997-2000)
Opposition (2000-2001)
2001 404,074 3.1 (#9)
0 / 460
Decrease 60 Extra-parliamentary

Senate[edit]

Election year # of
overall seats won
+/–
1997
8 / 100
2001
5 / 100
Decrease 3
As part of the Senate 2001 coalition, which won 15 seats.

Presidential[edit]

Election year Candidate 1st round 2nd round
# of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall votes % of overall vote
1995 Jacek Kuroń 1,646,946 9.2 (#3)

Regional assemblies[edit]

Election year % of
vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1998 10.3 (#4)
76 / 855
2002 2.3 (#7)
3 / 561
Decrease 73

European Parliament[edit]

Election year # of
votes
% of
vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
2004 446,549 7.3 (#6)
4 / 54

Former leader[edit]

Members of Polish Parliament (Sejm)[edit]

  • None since 2001

Former Members of Polish Senate[edit]

Members of the European Parliament of the former Freedom Union[edit]

Other prominent members[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2001). "Poland". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 7 February 2005. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  2. ^ Paul G. Lewis (2000). Political Parties in Post-Communist Eastern Europe. Routledge. pp. 51–. ISBN 978-0-415-20182-7. Retrieved 6 February 2013.