Progressive politician seeks Polish 'Spring' with new party

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A former Polish lawmaker who is openly gay has launched a progressive party ahead of two upcoming elections, presenting a program that includes phasing out coal production and liberalizing the abortion law in Poland.

At a convention Sunday in Warsaw, Robert Biedron announced the party's name, Wiosna, or "Spring," and vowed that he would work to unify the bitterly divided country.

Biedron has long been the hope of progressive Poles. However, it is unclear how much support the charismatic 42-year-old will be able to muster across conservative Poland.

Poles are electing European Parliament representatives and their national parliament this year.

Biedron also vowed to form a Justice and Reconciliation Commission to hold the leader of Poland's ruling party and others to account for allegedly violating "the freedom and rights enshrined in the constitution."