WARSAW, Poland – 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.