Poland's ruling party on course to retain majority in general election, early results suggest




Poland\
Poland\'s ruling party on course to retain majority in general election, early results suggest  

Early results suggest Poland's conservative government has retained its parliamentary majority, allowing it to forge ahead with a controversial programme of reforms that has put the country on a collision course with the EU.

The ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party was in the lead in Sunday's parliamentary election with 49.3% of votes, according to partial official results calculated on the basis of 42% of the constituencies and published early on Monday.

The country's biggest opposition grouping, the Civic Coalition, is seen coming second with 22.3% support, followed by the leftist alliance, The Left, with 10.9%. The bloc of agrarian PSL and anti-system Kukiz'15 was at 9.8% while the far-right Confederation would get 6.6%.

Earlier, exit polls released just seconds after voting stopped put the ruling Law and Justice party on 43.6 per cent of the vote, which would give the party 239 seats in the Polish lower house, slightly more than the 231 required for a majority.

"We have a reason to be happy," Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the party's leader, told an overjoyed crowd of supporters just minutes after the exit polls became public.

"Despite being opposed by a powerful force we won and everything indicates we will continue to win. And if it does continue, there will be good changes."

Civic Coalition, the main opposition group, took 27.4 per cent of the vote according to the polls. There is also a chance that the Confederation, a far-right alliance that has faced accusations of anti-Semitism and racism, could make it past the five per-cent threshold needed to take seats in parliament.

A victory for Law and Justice will lend the government the momentum to push ahead with a program that it says will make Poland a fairer country and which critics have warned amounts to a power grab.

Before the election Mr Kaczynski said he wanted to change the country's constitution "to strengthen freedom," but this could embroil the government in further in conflicts both at home and abroad.

The EU has already threatened Poland with legal sanctions over a controversial overhaul of the judiciary that it said undermined the rule of law, so any continuation by Law and Justice in the same direction could deepen the rift between Warsaw and Brussels.

At the same time Law and Justice's victory could further stoke tensions and divisions within Polish society.

During its first term in office the party made little effort to reach out to those who opposed it, preferring instead to often demonise them and in some cases cast doubt over their patriotism and loyalty.

Opposition parties are were hoping that the final vote count would deny Law and Justice an outright majority, forcing them to attempt to form a coalition - a difficult task for a party that has alienated almost all of its rivals.

Government supporters will argue that the outcome proves Law and Justice's mix of left-wing policies with socially conservative and nationalistic stances on other issues has been a hit with the voters.

The party says it has delivered on its promising to narrow the gap between the haves and the have-nots in Poland, introducing social welfare policies popular with its core voters, who tend to live outside Poland's increasingly prosperous cities.

Some political experts say the secret of Law and Justice's has been "re-distributing prestige" to those who felt left out or passed over by Poland's post-communist economic success.

Law and Justice has also focused on protecting Christian values, the "traditional" family structure and the Catholic Church against what it considers Western cultural liberalism manifested in LGBT culture and gay rights.

Significantly the party has also presided over a strong economic growth. Poland's GDP was expected to reach 4.3 per cent this year, according to the World Bank, while at the same time unemployment has fallen and wages have risen.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Polish conservative president
Polish conservative president's second term likely to deepen EU rifts

Polish President Andrzej Duda has won five more years in power on a socially conservative, religious platform in a closely fought election that makes renewed confrontation with the European Commission likely. Nearly final results from Sunday's presidential election runoff showed Duda, 48, on over 51%, giving him an unassailable lead over liberal Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who won almost 49% of the votes, the National Election Commission said. Duda is allied with the ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, and his victory reinforces the government's mandate to pursue reforms of the judiciary and media which the European Commission, the European Union executive, says subvert...

Knife-edge presidential vote keeps Poland in suspense
Knife-edge presidential vote keeps Poland in suspense

A knife-edge presidential run-off between the nationalist incumbent and his europhile rival plunged Poland into uncertainty Sunday, after exit polls indicated the result was too close to call. President Andrzej Duda, a right-wing populist and close ally of US counterpart Donald Trump, scored 50.8 percent in the second exit poll by Ipsos whose margin of error was two percentage points. Duda's rival, liberal Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, who has promised to heal ties with Brussels by rolling back a controversial reform of the judiciary, was shown just behind on 49.2 percent.

Poland
Poland's Duda slightly ahead in presidential vote: exit poll

President Andrzej Duda was marginally ahead in Poland's presidential election, an exit poll showed on Sunday, in a result with profound implications for relations with the rest of the European Union. Duda, an ally of the ruling nationalists Law and Justice (PiS), got 50.4% of the vote, according to the exit poll. Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, the favoured candidate of the main opposition party, the centrist Civic Platform (PO), got 49.6%.

Incumbent Duda extends lead in Polish election cliffhanger
Incumbent Duda extends lead in Polish election cliffhanger

Incumbent Andrzej Duda's lead in Poland's presidential election widened further, an updated late poll showed on Monday, a result, which while still uncertain, could have profound implications for Warsaw's relations with the European Union. The updated late poll combines exit poll data with official results for 90% of the polling stations that took part in the exit poll. The re-election of Duda, an ally of the ruling nationalists Law and Justice (PiS), is crucial if the government is to implement in full its conservative agenda, including judicial reforms that the European Union says are undemocratic.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America