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Polish Election 2019 Parliament

Parliamentary elections were held 13 October 2019. 460 deputies to the Sejm and 100 senators to the Senate will be elected. The active electoral right is vested in adult citizens of Poland. When will the parliamentary elections be held in 2019 in Poland? Although the exact date of the election has not yet been announced, observers have started speculating about it.

The exact date of the parliamentary election 2019 is set by the president at the latest 90 days before the end of the parliamentary term. According to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland from 1997, these elections take place every four years, unless pre-term elections are ordered (in special cases, when the Sejm's term of office will be shortened by the Sejm or the President of the Republic of Poland) or will be prolonged if an extraordinary state is introduced. In addition, parliamentary elections 2019 should take place within 30 days before the end of the four-year parliamentary term. The current 7th term of office began on November 12, 2015. This means that the date of the parliamentary elections 2019 it should fall between October 12 and November 12. In addition, the vote should be held on a non-working day, so the following dates are at stake: 13, 20, 27 October, 3 or 10 November.

If the parliamentary elections had been held in September 2018, only three parties would enter the Sejm - according to the latest CBOS survey. The PiS (together with Solidarna Polska and the Agreement) would get 43 percent support of people declaring voting. For the PO would vote 18 percent, and the movement kukiz'15 - 7 percent. The Sejm would come into only three groups - according to a survey by CBOS.

The other parties included in the survey would not exceed the electoral threshold: SLD would receive 4%, PSL 4%, Modern 3%. votes, and the party Wolnosc Janusz Korwin-Mikke and the Party Together for 2 percent. Those who were undecided would be supported by 16 percent. respondents declaring participation in elections.

A great result of the ruling party would give it an independent majority. Probably PiS with coalition partners could count on 276 deputies, and this would give the possibility of rejecting any presidential veto. In addition, the Sejm opposition would be reduced only to the PO, which with the Kukiz'15 neutrality would give Jaroslaw Kaczynski a particularly comfortable situation.

If the parliamentary elections were held in the first half of September, 71 percent would take part in them. Of respondents, 14 percent would not go to the polls, and 15 percent were undecided. The poll was carried out on 6-13 September on a group of adult inhabitants of Poland with 1064 members.

The daily Rzeczpospolita published the latest data on the perception of the president and prime minister by Poles. Neither Andrzej Duda nor Mateusz Morawiecki have reasons to be satisfied. Both politicians clearly decline in the September 2018 survey. As the daily revealed, Poles were losing confidence in the head of state and the head of government.

President Andrzej Duda is good or very good at only about 43 percent. respondents. Definitely more Poles have a worse opinion about him. 16.1 percent indicated that the president perceives rather bad, and as much as 35.5 percent gave him a very bad note. This is a total of as much as 51.5 percent negative evaluations.

It was equally bad for Mateusz Morawiecki. The premiere definitely sees only 19.7 percent. Poles. 24 percent evaluated his actions as rather good. And again, as in the case of President Duda, there are many more negative evaluations. 18.4 percent the respondents answered that the prime minister should be considered rather bad. Definitely evil has put up as much as 32.8 percent. respondents. Total 51.3 percent disgruntled. It's only 0.2 percent. better than with President Andrzej Duda! This is a clear signal for the politicians of the ruling camp - it's time to think about the style of exercising power.

"This is a relative similarity of assessments, which is clear and high in this study, is related to the perception of both these politicians as centers of power" a political scientist from the University of Warsaw, prof. Ewa Marciniak. said in an interview with "Rzeczpospolita".

The members of Poland's governing PiS (Law and Justice) party were so convinced of an election victory that they believed the only hurdle left is stumbling over their own legs. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is officially a lawmaker but as leader of the PiS party is the person who pulls the strings, is certain: "We have the backing of a majority in our society, but whether this majority will show up at the ballot box in droves is not yet clear. If so, we will win; If not, our results could be mediocre."

Making a joint public appearance on the eve of the election, Kaczynski and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki explained their post-election roadmap. Within the framework of its "Five Point Plan," the right-wing populist PiS pledges smaller social insurance payments for smaller firms, one to two extra months' worth of retirement benefits annually (at the level of the minimum pension), building 100 beltways for small and medium-sized cities, and a scheme to raise EU subsidies for Polish farmers (to the level of those received by German and French farmers). And the party was quick to make further pledges. Responding to reports that a lack of preventative care was costing people's lives, Kaczynski offered preventive medical screenings to all citizens over 40.

The task of enumerating all the economic and social sector programs that PiS is funding, or has pledged to fund, has now become rather time-consuming. Lower taxes, lower retirement age and child benefits are only the most well-known. A lot of it is implemented by the government despite expert warnings and advice. So far, this approach has worked — the money is flowing, and the economy is booming.

But there's more at stake than just money. PiS has restored the people's dignity. "Symbols" is a key word here: national pride, heroism, sacrificing one's own advantages for the benefit of others — it's that kind of rhetoric that keeps cropping up in Jaroslaw Kaczynski's party, and apparently it is in line with the zeitgeist. Even many people who don't have children of their own praise the introduction of publicly-funded child benefits. Due to its social work, but also thanks to its emphasis on common values such as "nation", "church" and "family", PiS has garnered the reputation of being the party that stands for a return of order and safety.

The problem of the liberal camp is that opposition leader Grzegorz Schetyna, who, in a surprise move, presented deputy lower house speaker Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska as leading candidate for prime minister only at the beginning of September, is not particularly popular. He is held responsible for the image of the right-wing liberal Civic Platform (PO) as a predominantly anti-PiS party, as opposed to one with valuable ideas of its own.

The Left had a good chance of joining the Sejm, Poland’s parliament, while polling showed the PSL party, an agrarian-focused Christian democratic party, straddling the five-percent hurdle — as was the far-right Confederation group that brings together right-wing extremists, radical anti-abortion activists and political clowns.

On one point, however, pollsters agreed: The national conservative PiS is ahead. Most polls show PiS with over 40 percent, followed by the PO around 30, and the Left around 12. If one trusts these numbers, the question remains whether PiS can govern alone or needs a coalition partner. Due to Poland’s electoral vote-apportioning system, the party was able to enjoy an absolute majority despite garnering only a third of actual votes.

Despite the partisanship of public broadcasting, government-critical reporting remains. Despite all PiS’ efforts at "judicial reform," which was widely condemned at home and abroad and brought remonstrations from Brussels, courts do hand out decisions contrary to PiS interests. Instead of their own plans, the opposition keeps coming up with new warnings that democracy is in danger.

According to the final result count announced by the Electoral Commission, the socially conservative but economically left-leaning PiS secured 235 seats in the 460-seat legislature. However, PiS expected delays to its legislative agenda after the party lost its majority in the upper house of parliament, the Senate.

The remarkably high election result for the PiS — almost 44% compared to 37.6% four years ago — was a reward for the previous government's generous welfare policy. Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and his team have succeeded in luring mainly voters from the smaller towns and villages, people who felt they had been left behind by the painful transformations of the past and had fallen by the wayside. A boost in child benefits, a 13th and 14th pension payment per year, a tax exemption for people under the age of 26 and an increase in minimum wage for all employees — presented in a patriotic cloak, these political promises were consistently implemented. That was Kaczynski's cure-all for this election, and it worked out.

The conservative social populists' resounding victory would be unthinkable without the support of the powerful Catholic Church. The alliance of "throne and altar" is bound to continue, and the return of the anti-clerical left is a response. Kaczynski's success is a slap in the face of the opposition Civic Platform, which failed to come up with a new set of politicians and a revamped program after the 2015 election defeat. That has now backfired. There is widespread concern that Poland will become an "illiberal" democracy and a semi-authoritarian state. The first four years of the PiS government have shown that Poland's real ruler, Kaczynski, is striving to subordinate independent institutions such as courts and the media. His confrontational and polarizing political style makes compromises with the opposition, who are part of democratic culture, impossible.



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Page last modified: 14-10-2019 19:06:57 ZULU