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Liberal Polish political contender starts to lay out goals

Robert Biedron, a prominent left-wing politician, speaks during a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. Biedron said he wants to shut down coal mines operating in the country by 2035. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A prominent left-wing politician aiming to become Poland’s prime minister, says he wants to shut down all coal mines operating in the country by 2035, improve health care and end state subsidies to the church.

Robert Biedron listed those among other proposals Friday in Warsaw.

The last national elections, in 2015, brought a right-wing party to power and deprived left-wing parties of any seats in parliament.

Ahead of elections next year, some liberal Poles have put their hopes for change in Biedron, a charismatic and openly gay 42-year-old. He was a lawmaker in parliament 2011-15 and recently finished a popular term as mayor of the northern town of Slupsk.

But Biedron has faced some criticism lately, even from sympathizers, for selling T-shirts online to fundraise before describing his program in detail.

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