Polish democracy in good health: experts

Commentators Łukasz Warzecha and Karolina Zioło-Pużuk comment on elections results for Poland IN.

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Commentators Łukasz Warzecha (“Do Rzeczy” and Karolina Zioło-Pużuk (Ignacy Daszyński Centre) feel that the election turnout and results prove polish democracy is in good shape. This is evidenced by the high turnout, the diverse make-up of the new Parliament and the fact that no party controls the second chamber, the Senate.

Łukasz Warzecha felt that the ruling Law and Justice ( PiS) victory in the Lower House was unconvincing, because the party failed to increase its Parliamentary majority. Karolina Zioło-Pużuk agreed saying that “PiS had been hoping for more than 45 percent of the vote.”

She also felt that this would be a “difficult Parliament” for PiS because it would meet opposition from right , left and centre of Polish politics. The entry of the radical right “Confederation” was felt to be a problem for PiS as it could press for more right -wing policies free of the constraints of office.

Both commentators agreed that this had been a bad election for the Civic Coalition and its leader Grzegorz Schetyna. However, Karolina Zioło-Pużuk felt that it has not been “bad enough” for the party to force changes. Łukasz Warzecha added that the party’s leader Grzegorz Schetyna could point to the good result for the whole opposition in the senate as his achievement.

The Polish People’s Party and its leader were assessed as having had a good campaign and result. It was significant that it was picking up votes in the cities to replace the votes it was losing to PiS in rural areas.

They also agreed that the Left had a good election and could celebrate their 12 percent and a return to Parliament. But Łukasz Warzecha had doubts whether the old post-communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) would manage to stay united with the younger left of Robert Biedroń and the “Together “ party.

Challenges for ruling party

Łukasz Warzecha felt that PiS would not risk any major pol;icy shifts until the Presidential election (due in May 2020) was over. He believed that losing the majority in the Senate would slow down the pace of legislative change. Karolina Zioło-Pużuk added party management as a big challenge for the ruling leader Jarosław Kaczyński when deciding on whether to moderate or radicalise the party’s course.