Two weeks after the first round of the presidential elections in Poland, the decisive run-off election will take place on Sunday. The Poles will not only decide on their head of state for the coming term of office, but also on the direction the country will take in the coming years. Should the incumbent Andrzej Duda, candidate of the ruling national conservative party “Law and Justice” (PiS), win, the PiS could continue undisturbed with its controversial plans to restructure the judiciary and media for at least another three years, i.e. until the next parliamentary elections. However, with the candidate Rafał Trzaskowski, who is supported by the largest opposition alliance “Civic Coalition” (KO), the opposition can hope to break the PiS power monopoly.
The first round of the presidential elections in Poland on Sunday confirmed what the opinion polls in recent weeks had predicted: firstly, although the incumbent President Andrzej Duda, candidate of the ruling national conservative party “Law and Justice” (PiS), received the largest share of the votes cast (43.7 %), it was clearly not enough for re-election in the first round. Second, his challenger for the run-off vote will be the liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski, candidate of the largest opposition alliance “Civic Coalition” (KO). According to current polls, the second round will be extremely close.
On Sunday the Poles will elect their president for the next five years. If no candidate wins more than 50% of the votes in the first round of voting there will be a run-off vote on 12 July. The incumbent Andrzej Duda, who is close to the ruling national conservative party “Law and Justice” (PiS), leads the opinion polls with around 42%. Duda is considered as the election favourite. In recent weeks, however, his popularity has declined significantly. On the other hand, the largest opposition alliance, the liberal-conservative “Citizens’ Coalition” (KO), with its candidate Rafał Trzaskowski seems to be on the upswing. According to some polls, both Trzaskowski and the independent pro-European candidate of the centre, Szymon Hołownia, would narrowly win against Duda in the second round of voting.
Eigentlich schien alles so zu laufen, wie Parteichef Jarosław Kaczyński es vorhatte. Polens Regierungspartei Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS, dt.: Recht und Gerechtigkeit) war dabei, fast reibungslos wichtige demokratische Institutionen und die Gewaltenteilung auszuhebeln, um ihr nationalpopulistisches Programm durchzusetzen. Aber seit neuestem ist ein wenig Sand ins Getriebe gekommen. Der von der PiS-Partei installierte Präsident Andrzej Duda zeigt seit einiger Zeit einen politischen Eigenwillen und nutzt seine Kompetenzen aus, um die Regierung zu bremsen. Was er damit bezweckt, ist aber letztlich noch unklar. Die neue Parlamentssaison wird jedenfalls spannend.