Run-Off Vote: State Restructuring in Poland Continues

Re-election of national conservative President Andrzej Duda reveals the weakness of the opposition

Strong President in Poland

The Polish President is not only a ceremonial representative of the country. He is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and can veto legislative decisions without providing reasons. In order to pass laws against his veto , a 3/5 majority in parliament (Sejm) is required – and such a majority does not currently exist in Poland. To make matters more complicated for the PiS, in 2019 it lost the majority in the Senate, which can refer back and thus delay resolutions of the Sejm. Thus, in order to implement its national conservative course, the PiS needed its own man in the presidential palace.

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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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Presidential Election in Poland: Trzaskowski – Liberal Alternative to Duda

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.

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