Poland Table of Contents
Founded in 1979 by military historian Leszek Moczulski, the Confederation for Independent Poland (Konfederacja Polski Niepodleglej--KPN) claimed with some justification to be the first true opposition party of the communist era. Years before the emergence of Solidarity, Moczulski was defying the authorities with calls for the restoration of Polish sovereignty and the replacement of the communist system; he was imprisoned repeatedly from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s. The KPN did not participate in the talks leading to the Round Table Agreement and refused to compromise with the PZPR.
Because of its reputation for radicalism and violence, the KPN fared poorly in its first electoral tests: the parliamentary elections of 1989, the local elections of May 1990, and the presidential election in the autumn of 1990. But by 1991 Polish voters had grown disenchanted with the seeming impotence of the postcommunist political establishment in the face of the country's worsening economic problems. As a result, the KPN was among the extremist groups and individuals that fared well in the 1991 parliamentary elections. The KPN won forty-six seats in the Sejm, two more than the mainstream Center Alliance.
Following its success in the parliamentary elections, the KPN sought to moderate its image by joining four center-right parties in a coalition supporting the candidacy of Jan Olszewski as prime minister. Moczulski took the KPN out of the short-lived coalition, however, when Olszewski failed to name him minister of national defense. Outraged at the government's charges that Moczulski had been a collaborator with the communist secret service, the KPN voted for Olszewski's removal in June 1992. The KPN then withdrew its initial support of Pawlak as Olszewski's replacement. The seven-party alliance in support of Suchocka in mid-1992 seemingly ended the KPN's participation in coalition politics and returned it to the role of the uncompromising outsider.
Data as of October 1992