Thousands of people came out on the streets to protest against their government in the capital Warsaw Sunday which the Poles believe is on the path to autocratic rule, eroding the democratic norms of the country.
The Mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski was leading the march underlined that there were an estimated 500,000 people in Sunday’s rally, however, local media said the people were at least 300,000 at the march’s end.
People also gathered in other cities of Poland against their government accusing rulers of breaching the constitutional norms, expressing their frustration and alleging their rulers of eroding fundamental rights in the country.
Former President Lech Walesa, the leader of the Solidarity movement who was at the centre of overthrowing the communist government in Poland, was alongside the protestors and the leader of the opposition Civic Platform party, former Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk.
The marchers commenced their walk from the office of PM Mateusz Morawiecki, passing from the seat of President Andrzej Duda, ending at the historic Royal Castle, where Tusk hailed the people’s presence pledging to fight to win an autumn election. He also vowed to undo what he described as profound harm and division inflicted on the nation.
Tusk said: “We are going to these elections to win and to right human wrongs. I promise you victory, a settlement of evil, compensation for human wrongs and reconciliation among Poles.”
According to the government spokesman Piotr Mueller, Tusk and Walesa are “trying to overthrow the government.”
The protestors warned that the “election might be the nation’s last chance to stop the erosion of democracy under the ruling party, Law and Justice, as the fears increase about the rigging and tampering in the national polls.
Law and Justice Party is in power since 2015 and have found a popular formula in which they combined high social spending with socially conservative policies and support for the church in the mostly Catholic nation.
The critics, on the contrary, warned that the party is reversing many of the achievements made since Poland emerged from communist rule in 1989.