Monday, June 24, 2024

Poland’s liberal opposition is on course to win the election


Warsaw (AFP) – Poland’s liberal opposition on Monday celebrated poll results that saw it win a parliamentary majority in weekend elections that, if confirmed, would pave the way for a major shift after eight years of nationalism. Party rule.

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The surprise result of the exit poll comes after the ruling populist Law and Justice Party, led by veteran politician Jaroslaw Kaczynski, spent a lot of state resources on a campaign widely seen as unfair.

The opposition described Sunday’s parliamentary election as the “last chance” to save democracy in the eastern European country, which is a member of the European Union.

The vote was record-breaking, surpassing even the first independent elections since the fall of communism.

Donald Tusk, the former president of the European Union, declared his victory, with opinion polls predicting that his civic coalition with two smaller parties would win a majority in parliament.

“Democracy has won,” he declared on Sunday evening. He said the “dark” era was over.

Many voters in the capital Warsaw, where support for nationalists has traditionally been low, greeted the decision with caution. “There is hope that something will change,” said 20-year-old Natalia Sedlik.

He added that the opposition’s victory would be a step in a “better direction”.

An Ipsos poll showed that Dusk’s Civic Alliance would win 163 seats in the 460-seat parliament.

Two smaller parties, the Third Way and the Left, are expected to win 55 and 30 seats respectively.

The results would give the three parties a majority of 248 seats.

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Expectations based on preliminary results on Monday supported the survey results.

“very happy”

For eight years, PiS has put Poland on a collision course with the European Union, adopting controversial judicial reforms, refusing to adopt strict anti-immigrant and anti-abortion policies.

The Law and Justice party increased its nationalist rhetoric in its campaign, even entering into a dispute with its war-torn neighbor Ukraine, despite massive Polish solidarity to help Kiev counter the Russian invasion.

Tusk served as Prime Minister of Poland between 2007 and 2014 and as President of the Council of Europe between 2014 and 2019.

He has promised to mend relations with Brussels and legalize abortion, a key debate in the Catholic country, if he is returned to power.

Scores of Polish voters lined up Sunday evening to cast their ballots in what all parties described as the most important election since the fall of communism.

“I’m very happy, I hope that Poland is finally getting closer to Europe,” said 33-year-old architect Aleksandra Mittlejewicz. She noted the importance of women’s rights in her decision about who to vote for.

The Law and Justice Party offered a strict Catholic vision for Polish women.

However, there are still many questions about who will take power the morning after the polls.

Other Poles who supported the opposition expressed a more cautious stance.

“I’m excited to see what happens next, how the power grabbers will react,” said entrepreneur Carol Gidlinski (42).

Gidlinski explained that it was difficult to imagine Tusk leading Poland again. “To me, he’s from the past,” he said.

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The glow of “Hope”.

Much depends on President Andrzej Duda.

The Polish president welcomed the turnout in the election during a visit to the Vatican on Monday.

He called on the Poles to be patient and “wait for the results”. While congratulating the winners of the elections, he did not specify whom he was supporting.

Analysts point out that any ruling coalition formed by opposition parties could face differences with the President, who is an ally of the Law and Justice Party.

At the same time, the Law and Justice Party was considered strong and won the election because the party received the largest number of votes. Kaczynski explained that he was still “hopeful” he could form a government.

“It’s not a stalemate at the moment,” he said, as he released a poll showing a victory for the opposition late Sunday.

The most likely PiS coalition partner is the far-right Confederation Party, which has campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform demanding an end to extensive Polish aid to Ukraine. But the coalition has publicly ruled out joining the alliance, with some analysts suggesting it may not happen due to rising tensions between the two parties.

The election campaign was marked by personal attacks on Tusk, accused of acting in the interests of Germany, Russia and the European Union by the ruling party.

The Law and Justice party has also stepped up its anti-immigrant rhetoric, with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki saying the country must be protected from illegal immigrants who “don’t respect our culture”.

Ukraine and its Western backers are closely following the Polish election results, Poland is one of Ukraine’s most important backers in the European Union and NATO and has taken in a million Ukrainian refugees, but unrest is growing among many Poles.

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Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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