From Poland With Love – July

Topic of the Month

5 More Years with Duda

Andrzej Duda has won the Polish presidential election by a wafer-thin margin. He narrowly beat Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski with 51,2% of the vote. Both candidates collected over 10 million of the votes, something that had been done only by Lech Wałęsa before. Turnout in the second round of the election was reportedly 68,2%, the highest of any presidential poll since the start of free elections in post-communist Poland.

Duda’s slim victory was very disappointing for the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party. Bearing in mind all the support the incumbent president got from the government, state television station TVP, state agencies and state owned companies, Jarosław Kaczyński expected a clearer victory and a green light for a series of new radical reforms. However, he received a clear signal that the support for his ideas is narrower that the power he actually has in Poland.

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Presidential Election in Poland: Sunday Will Be Decisive

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.

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From Poland With Love – June

Topic of the Month

Runoff!

The incumbent Andrzej Duda won the first round of the presidential election but must still go into a runoff vote. On July 12th, he will face Rafał Trzaskowski, mayor of Warsaw. The election was the first presidential vote to be held in the European Union since the pandemic hit.

It was the longest and the most peculiar campaign in Polish short democratic history, after 1990. Not only the elections were postponed from May 10th to June 28th due to the pandemic, but also new candidates appeared. The most important of the newcomers was of course Rafał Trzaskowski who replaced Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska as the Civic Coalition candidate after her unsuccessful campaign marked with appeals for boycott of the elections (read more in the previous issue).

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From Poland With Love – April

 

PART I: COVID-19 IN POLAND

 

(Some) Restrictions Lifted

After Easter, the Polish government announced its plans on how some of the restrictions introduced in response to the Covid-19 epidemic would be lifted. In the first period, parks and forest were open for the public. Bigger changes were planned for May 4th.

As part of the second stage of exiting the lockdown, Poland opened a number of facilities on the first day after the long weekend (May 1st and May 3rd are bank holidays in Poland). The list of facilities that were opened includes: Continue reading