A change of government in Poland?

Polish voters will elect a new parliament on Sunday and face the choice between a broad opposition alliance and the PiS party, which has been in power since 2015. The alliance led by former EU Council President Donald Tusk is considered to have a good chance of replacing the current cabinet. The press looks at what the election results could mean for the country and for Europe.

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

A grim celebration of democracy

Undecided voters will be the determining factor, writes Rzeczpospolita:

“The last opinion poll in this election campaign indicates that the opposition will be the winner: a victory that is uncertain but possible. It will depend on those who wait until the last minute to vote in this grim celebration of democracy. This election campaign has been uniquely grim: never before have so many negative emotions been stoked nor so many people convinced that Poland is dramatically divided.”

Zuzanna Dąbrowska
hvg (HU) /

Only one good choice for women

In hvg, Gazeta Wyborcza journalist Dominika Wantuch explains why women in Poland should vote for the opposition parties:

“We have to choose: either we continue to fight for women’s rights and equal opportunities or we don’t take part in the elections in the awareness that everything could get even worse. Our rights could be further restricted. Not only might we lose our reproductive rights, but equal opportunities in the education system could also be dismantled. This situation could even destroy women’s rights organisations. And if the independence of Polish courts is abolished, there will no longer be a forum for us to defend ourselves.”

Dominika Wantuch
The Irish Times (IE) /

A key moment for the EU

Europe will be anxiously watching Poland, writes The Irish Times:

“The election will have ramifications across Europe. A PiS victory would be an important boost for populism and Euroscepticism ahead of next year’s European Parliament elections. A defeat for PiS can contribute positively to a rebalancing within the EU, weakening the powerfully destabilising role of Hungary’s Viktor Orban, recently strengthened by the victory of Roberto Fico in Slovakia and earlier by Giorgia Meloni in Italy.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Neither free nor fair

Aftonbladet raises concerns about what might happen if the PiS suffers a defeat:

“If ‘Law and Justice’ [PiS] win, they will continue to dismantle democracy and oppose the EU. But what if they lose? The Supreme Court must confirm the election results, and it is the president who gives the mandate to form the government. PiS now controls both, so we don’t know what will happen if they lose the election. ... The election is neither free nor fair. In practice, state media is campaigning for ‘Law and Justice’ and against the opposition, and the other state institutions are doing the same. But how far are they willing to go to remain in power?”

Anders Lindberg
Pravda (SK) /

Opposition would face major challenges after a victory

Pravda suspects that even under a new government, a democratic new beginning would be no easy task:

“Because for one thing PiS member Andrzej Duda will remain in the presidential office. He has the power to block laws, and the government will have a hard time finding a three-fifths majority to override his veto. The president doesn’t need to seek compromises with the new government. His second term doesn’t end until 2025, and even if he were to start looking for a new career, as long as PiS is a strong party capable of winning the parliamentary elections, he won’t not need to look for new allies.”

Radovan Geist