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Freedom Union (Poland)

Freedom Union
Chairman Władysław Frasyniuk (1999-2005)
Founded 20 March 1994
Dissolved 9 May 2005
Merger of Democratic Union
Liberal Democratic Congress
Succeeded by Democratic Party
Ideology Liberalism,
Social liberalism,
Christian democracy
Political position Centre-right to Centre-left
European affiliation European Democrat Union
Politics of Poland
Political parties
Elections

The Freedom Union (Polish: Unia Wolności, UW) was a liberal[1] democratic political party in Poland.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Election results 2
    • Sejm 2.1
    • Senate 2.2
    • Presidential 2.3
    • Regional assemblies 2.4
    • European Parliament 2.5
  • Former leader 3
  • Members of Polish Parliament (Sejm) 4
  • Former Members of Polish Senate 5
  • Members of the European Parliament of the former Freedom Union 6
  • Other prominent members 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9

History

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- )

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 party decided to move to join the new Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska), which got 12.7% of the votes and 65 seats in the 2001 general elections whilst the Freedom Union failed to cross the 5% threshold required to gain entry to Parliament, receiving only 3.1%. Surprisingly, the party 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 Freedom Union 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 Freedom Union member Tadeusz Mazowiecki also joined the initiative. Legally the centrist Democratic Party, founded May 9, 2005, is the successor of the Freedom Union.

Election results

Sejm

Election year # of
votes
% of
vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1997 1,749,518 13.4
60 / 460
14
2001 404,074 3.1
0 / 460
60

Senate

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

Presidential

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

Election year % of
vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–
1998 10.34
76 / 855
2002 2.29
3 / 561
73

European Parliament

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

Former leader

Members of Polish Parliament (Sejm)

  • None since 2001

Former Members of Polish Senate

Members of the European Parliament of the former Freedom Union

Other prominent members

See also

References

  1. ^ Paul G. Lewis (2000). Political Parties in Post-Communist Eastern Europe. Routledge. pp. 51–.  
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