Poles cast vote in presidential election that reveals country’s deep divisions
WARSAW (POLAND) – Poles on Sunday voted in a presidential poll that highlights the country’s deep political fissures.
An ally of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), incumbent Andrzej Duda locks horns with liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski.
If PiS wishes to deepen judicial reforms, which the EU sees as increasing political control over courts, then Duda’s re-election is crucial. The president holds the power to veto.
Trzaskowski, who wants a more open Poland, said he would block legislation that undermines democratic norms if he wins.
“(This election) is important because it will be crucial for the next 30 years in Poland,” said Przemyslaw Bochenski, a doctor.
“If we do not take the right direction now I am afraid that Polish democracy and Poland, everything we have built, will collapse.”
As the Polish president has very few executive powers, it is highly unlikely that Trzaskowski could bring about significant changes if he is elected. But with the presidency as well as the upper house of parliament resting with the opposition, PiS’s will not be able to implement its agenda.
Duda portrays himself as a defender of Poland’s Catholic values and the generous social benefit programmes that have transformed life for many.
“I believe we can build the Poland we dream of, a fair Poland, a rich Poland, a strong Poland… a Poland that can protect the weak and doesn’t have to fear the strong,” he said while addressing supporters on Friday.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field