Poland’s ruling nationalists win parliamentary election

Elections

Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party secured a second term in power in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, partial results showed on Monday, though falling short of the landslide victory needed to overhaul the constitution, news wire Reuters reported.

Partial results show the PiS winning 44.4% of votes, against the 37.6% it won in 2015, a result with which it retains a narrow majority in Parliament.

Results from 99% of constituencies published on Monday suggest an increase for the PiS on the 231 MPs it currently holds in the 460-seat lower house to 239. The state electoral commission will announce the breakdown of parliamentary seats with the final official result, which is expected later on Monday, according to bbc.com.

Main rival the Civic Coalition (KO), a centrist umbrella group, trailed in second with about a quarter of the vote. The left-wing coalition Lewica is expected to come third.

Sunday’s results highlight increased political polarization in Poland under PiS rule, Reuters noted, with the liberal opposition scoring sweeping victories in some large cities where voters worry over the future of democratic standards in Poland.

In what the report sees as a further sign of deepening divisions, a group of far-right politicians and activists, the Confederation, won seats in Parliament for the first time, securing 6.8% of the vote, just above the 5% threshold needed to enter the legislature.

Echoing the victory of the opposition candidate Gergely Karácsony in Budapestʼs mayoral election, and gains throughout the Hungarian capital, the Civic Coalition, together with a left-wing bloc, won roughly 60% of votes in the capital Warsaw on Sunday, against 28% for the PiS, Reuters added.

Opposition parties and Poland’s EU partners say the PiS has undermined the independence of the judiciary and used public media to promote its agenda.

For its part, the PiS cast the election as a choice between a society rooted in traditional Catholic values and a liberal order that promotes a chosen few and undermines family life, noted Reuters. 

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