Polish Peasant Party (PSL) fi ghts for the shape of postwar Poland. Election to the Constituent Seym on the 19th of January 1947
From September 1945, Polish Peasant Party (PSL), which was first led by Vincent Witos, and after his death by Stanisław Mikołajczyk, started intensive organizational and propaganda work, which in not such a far future was going to win a victory in the parliamentary elections and to take over, in a democratic way, the authority in Poland. S. Mikołajczyk and his party won the popularity, because the majority of Polish society believed that PSL is the only political power capable of resisting Sovietism in Poland. The popularity of the Mikołajczyk’s party, which included not only boys but also followers of free and sovereign Poland, was continually growing and this fact was also noticeable among the communists. As a matter of fact, they started to destroy not only the armed underground but also legal oppositional party. Despite the general atmosphere of terror, the communists continued to be afraid of election confrontation with PSL, which in the spring of 1946 had ca. 10 millions of members. On the 15th of April 1946 the communists decided to hold a referendum in order to check the social atmosphere and political preferences of voters. However, their main goal was to fabricate the results of election and this operation was considered a preliminary test before the election to the Seym. The communists aimed also at postponing the date of the parliamentary election. Moreover, they were going to destroy PSL and paralyze its work, eliminating at the same time the only opposition party and rival in the election. As a matter of fact, at the beginning of the election campaign of the communists, they started to prepare the referendum which took place on the 30th of June 1946. Its results were fabricated and the real one were known only to the leaders of PPR, and that permitted them to understand the real greatness of popularity of the opposition parties. The communists used the pre-election period to destroy the structure of PSL and to weaken their influence in the society. Nonetheless, the election to the Seym, which took place on the 19th of January 1947, was also fabricated and this fact permitted the communists to completely take over the authority in Poland and its gradual communization.