In power in Poland since 2015, Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s ultra-conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) came out on top in the 15 October parliamentary elections with 35.38 percent of the vote (194 seats out of 460 in the Sejm, the lower house). However, they lost their absolute majority to the opposition coalition formed by the Civic Coalition (KO, centre, led by former President of the European Council Donald Tusk) with 30.70 percent (157 seats), the Third Way (centre, 14.40 percent, 65 seats), and the Left (8.61 percent, 26 seats) took the majority. Meanwhile, The Confederation (far right) won 7.16 percent, or 18 seats.
The turnout for these elections – over 74 percent – was the highest since the fall of communism. The campaign was dominated by the issues of immigration, the war in Ukraine and women’s rights. Polish Europhiles can finally breathe a sigh of relief after eight years of nationalist rule by the PiS, which saw a sharp decline in the rule of law and particularly strained relations with the European Union.
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