Poland: Andzrej Duda wins five more years as president


Poland's conservative president, Andzrej Duda, who is a strong backer of the governing Law and Justice Party, has won another five years in power.

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"Andrzej Duda won a narrow victory in a run-off presidential election over pro-EU Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski.

The divisive poll saw Duda run a campaign with alleged anti-Semitic and homophobic undertones as he fought to keep the presidency.

Duda received 51.08% of the vote while his centre-right opponent Trzaskowski trailed with 48.92% of the vote."

See: Five takeaways from the Polish presidential election (euronews)

Euronews highlights five key points:

  • the election results show Poland is deeply divided;
  • Duda made significant use of homophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric during the campaign, but faced fierce criticism for doing so;
  • his re-election is not likely to improve Poland's troubled relationship with the EU;
  • high turnout figures will give Duda greater legitimacy;
  • the ongoing implementation of socially conservative policies will continue until at least the next parliamentary elections in 2023.

See also: Poland's Andrzej Duda rides wave of 'sacred tradition' (BBC News, link)

And: How the EU can manage Poland’s authoritarian government (Politico Europe, link) by Wojciech Przybylski:

"Following Andrzej Duda’s victory on Sunday, the PiS government will want to stick to its guns and double down on some aspects of its domestic agenda before the next election in 2023. That includes its push to remake the judicial branch, take over the media landscape, centralize power at the expense of local autonomy and gag civil society. The guiding principle is clear: to choke off the possibility of a challenger from the right, including from the ultra-nationalist Konfederacja party, which is making gains in the polls.

But this is also a turning point for Poland, and the government remains vulnerable in several key ways: its reliance on EU money, its need for strategic alliances when it comes to its security and its desire to boost its image on the European and international stage.

To advance its strategic interests in those areas, PiS is likely to be in the mood to compromise."

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