The political turn in Poland is confirmed with the almost complete counting of the votes | International
The provisional results of the count of the legislative elections in Poland consolidate the political turn that the exit polls announced: the ultraconservative Law and Justice party (PiS) comes first — with 35.6% support to 99.5% of scrutiny—but far from the parliamentary majority. The three opposition parties, on the other hand, account for 53.5% of the ballots, enough to form a Government. As the most voted party, PiS will do everything possible to repeat a third consecutive term, despite not having the numbers, in a situation reminiscent of the failed investiture of Alberto Núñez Feijóo in Spain.
It is up to the president, Andrzej Duda, to entrust the formation of the Government. His former membership in Jaroslaw Kaczynski's party - he abandoned it when he accepted a position that requires him to show independence - suggests that he will invite him to try ahead of the opposition, despite not having enough support. The process until there is a new Executive can last until December.
The day after the legislative elections that have registered a historic participation in Polish democracy, of 74.2%, the official count has continued all day and the official result is expected to be announced on Tuesday. The provisional data, which only provide voting percentages and not seat distribution, differ by just a few tenths from the Ipsos polls and projections for the three main television stations. The most ultra-right bloc, with PiS and Confederation, would add 211 seats (196 and 15, respectively), according to the polling company. That of the liberal opposition - mainly from the center-right, although it also brings together the left - reaches 249 deputies, 18 above the absolute majority of 231 necessary to form a stable Government. PO, led by former prime minister and former president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, would have 158; The Third Way coalition, the great electoral surprise, would obtain 61 deputies and Izquierda, 30.
While waiting for the official results, which have been delayed by the referendum - failed, according to the polls - on the retirement age, privatizations and migration, everything is still moving this Monday in the field of hypotheses. Both parties, with the data that is already known, celebrate their results and hope that Duda will entrust them with forming the Government. PiS, because parliamentary custom dictates that the winner tries first; PO, because he is the one who leads the bloc with a majority in the Sejm (Lower House of the Polish Parliament) and has the best chance of closing an Executive.
The president thanked this Monday for the high participation. He has not given any clue as to who he will invite to form the Government, but before the elections it was he who recalled that the usual thing is for the party with the most votes to try. “We cannot deprive the winners of the right to form a coalition,” Andrzej Dera, State Secretary for the Presidency, said after the elections. Pawel Szrot, head of the president's office, acknowledged this Monday that "this time the situation may be complicated."
If PiS wins the presidential mandate and fails in the vote in the Sejm, then the parliamentary majority can propose a candidate. Kaczynski's party is not going to give up power easily, even if it does not now gain the necessary support. “Days of struggle and tension await us,” the deputy prime minister said after learning about the exit polls. Kaczynski is known for his generosity in negotiating and for seeking support and turncoats even at the ideological antipodes. But even if he got the votes of the far-right Confederation, an anti-establishment formation that insists he would never enter a coalition with PiS, he would still need the support of 20 more deputies.
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Members of the ultra-conservative party are pointing to the Polish People's Party (PSL) as a possible partner, the agrarian formation that is part of the Third Way coalition together with Polska 2050. “If PiS receives the mandate to form a Government, those conversations will take place,” he responded. this Monday in an interview Joachim Brudzinski, PiS chief of staff. PSL spokesperson Milosz Motyka was quick to close down any possibility of negotiation through the social network X (formerly Twitter): “Forget it. For those lies, for those slanders, for hating and spitting on us all, for the thefts and all the scandals... We will hold you responsible!
Experts estimate that the formation of a new Liberal Government would take several weeks, until December. Jacek Kucharczyk, president of the think tank Institute of Public Affairs, warns that in the meantime “Law and Justice will continue to control the institutions, at least until the new Parliament is formed.” The sociologist and political analyst, who has not slept a wink pending results that have arrived in dribs and drabs, distrusts PiS. “I am sure that they will be extremely creative in making it difficult to form an opposition government, and if this happens, they will make life very difficult for him.”
As Kucharczyk recalls, after eight years in power, Kaczynski's party has control of the Constitutional Court - with the power to veto any legislation - and the Supreme Court, which must validate the electoral results in 90 days. Furthermore, the seats added by the liberal parties are not enough to overturn the presidential veto of the new laws, for which three-fifths of the chamber, 276 seats, are necessary. The president has used this prerogative even against PiS, so it could complicate life for a new Government if he decides to use it until his term ends, in May 2025. There are analysts who point out that his interest in obtaining an international position After leaving the presidency he can moderate his behavior.
In any case, a red carpet does not await the new coalition. Analyst and writer Aleksander Smolar points out that it will not be easy to understand each other between “four heterogeneous parties with very ambitious leaders.” On issues such as abortion, for example, PO and Izquierda are in favor of liberalizing it until the twelfth week, while the members of Third Way, Christian-conservatives, propose a referendum.
Smolar trusts that the experience of eight years in the opposition has taught them to act together and ensure, to begin with, “an improvement in relations with the European Union, with Germany, with other partners such as France, and with Ukraine.” In domestic politics, he believes they will take immediate measures “without the possibility of presidential interference” to change the leadership of entities controlled by PiS and used for partisan purposes, mainly public media and companies like Orlen. The expert believes that the coalition, when it manages to get going, “will not find it easy to govern, because PiS leaves the country in a very bad state.”
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