Polish TV celebrity announces bid for presidency


Szymon Hołownia, a TV presenter and a catholic journalist and author, on Sunday announced he would run as an independent candidate in Poland’s presidential election next year.

During his campaign launch event, Hołownia said he wants to help repair what he sees as a deeply divided society and political landscape.

“The [political] system is broken. To make it ‘unbroken’ we have to have a non-party safety fuse. No one from a [political] party will do it,” he said.

Hołownia, who has twice started the process of trying to become a Catholic priest in the Dominican Order, was the host of a Polish TV talent show for 12 consecutive seasons and has worked as a journalist and columnist in several Polish newspapers and magazines.

He is known to hold center-right views on social and political issues but also campaigns on typically left-wing issues, such as the need to fight climate change.

“I’ve always been too left wing for the right-wingers and too right wing for the left-wingers. The art of being in the center… I have it down,” he said.

Hołownia also pledged to maintain the division between church and state.

Polls have been inconclusive about the support he might get. In a two-way race against the current president — Andrzej Duda from the ruling PiS party — Hołownia would attract some 28 percent of votes compared to 48.3 percent for Duda, with 23.7 percent of voters undecided, according to a November poll.

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