Written by 9:16 am Highlighted Main, Politics

“Poland is a beacon of light for Europe”

Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s ruling party won 21 seats and is once again the undisputed leader in Polish politics. “We are a light of hope for Europe.”

“We are a light of hope for Europe,” said Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in his victory speech on Sunday evening. His center-right Civic Coalition won 38.2 percent of the vote, according to an exit poll by polling agency Ipsos. That gets him 21 seats. Tusk’s party thus trumped the national populists of Law and Justice (PiS), the party led by  rival Jaroslaw Kaczynski. PiS received 33.9 percent of the votes, which yielded 19 seats.

For the Poles, the European elections were the third elections in a row. Last October’s parliamentary elections resulted in a historic change of power. Tusk, a former president of the European Council of Governments, ousted PiS from government with a coalition of centre-right and left-wing forces.

By dismantling the rule of law for eight years and reducing the public broadcaster to a political puppet, the PiS government was on a collision course with Brussels and European allies. Tusk promised to restore the rule of law and rebuild European ties, but at the same time hoped to restore his Civic Coalition as Poland’s largest power party.
This did not work out in local elections in April: PiS still obtained the largest number of votes, despite internal unrest in the party. But Sunday’s score is a big boost for Tusk after an aggressive campaign in which his Civic Coalition put several government party leaders on its European list. To mobilize its liberal and urban core electorate, the Civic Coalition portrayed PiS as a party with an anti-Russian and nationalist façade, but with policies that played into Moscow’s hands.

In addition to Tusk, the far-right and anti-Ukrainian Konfederacja also had something to celebrate. That party, which targets a predominantly young and male electorate, was heading for twelve percent of the votes and six seats, according to the exit poll.

Last modified: June 14, 2024