Europe

Plan to expand Warsaw slammed as anti-democratic

  • FILE- This May 18, 2012, file photo shows the skyline of Warsaw, Poland's capital. The mayor of Warsaw has harshly denounced a government plan to enlarge the capital to incorporate 32 neighboring municipalities. That would make Warsaw bigger than London or New York by geographical size. The plan is controversial because it would increase the chances of the conservative ruling Law and Justice to take control of the city in local elections in 2018, even as it takes other steps to centralize its power. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski,file)

    FILE- This May 18, 2012, file photo shows the skyline of Warsaw, Poland's capital. The mayor of Warsaw has harshly denounced a government plan to enlarge the capital to incorporate 32 neighboring municipalities. That would make Warsaw bigger than London or New York by geographical size. The plan is controversial because it would increase the chances of the conservative ruling Law and Justice to take control of the city in local elections in 2018, even as it takes other steps to centralize its power. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski,file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- This May 18, 2012 file photo , shows the skyline of Warsaw, Poland's capital. The mayor of Warsaw has harshly denounced a government plan to enlarge the capital to incorporate 32 neighboring municipalities. That would make Warsaw bigger than London or New York by geographical size. The plan is controversial because it would increase the chances of the conservative ruling Law and Justice to take control of the city in local elections in 2018, even as it takes other steps to centralize its power. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski,file)

    FILE- This May 18, 2012 file photo , shows the skyline of Warsaw, Poland's capital. The mayor of Warsaw has harshly denounced a government plan to enlarge the capital to incorporate 32 neighboring municipalities. That would make Warsaw bigger than London or New York by geographical size. The plan is controversial because it would increase the chances of the conservative ruling Law and Justice to take control of the city in local elections in 2018, even as it takes other steps to centralize its power. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski,file)  (The Associated Press)

Warsaw's mayor has harshly denounced a government plan to enlarge the Polish capital to incorporate 32 neighboring municipalities.

The plan is controversial because it would increase the chances of the conservative ruling Law and Justice to take control of Warsaw in local elections in 2018. The city's residents tend to be more liberal and more critical of the government than those in surrounding areas.

Work on the plan comes as Law and Justice is centralizing its power in a way denounced by opponents as anti-democratic.

Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, with the opposition Civic Platform party, said that it was a "disgrace" and "it pushes us in the direction of Belarus or even Moscow."

If implemented, the city of 1.7 million people would become geographically bigger than New York or Moscow.