Thursday

20th Jan 2022

EU's dream candidate wins Polish election

  • Mr Komorowski out on campaign: his popularity was the strongest among younger, urban Poles (Photo: Bronislaw Komorowski)

The candidate from the ruling Civic Platform party, Bronislaw Komorowski, won Poland's presidential election on Sunday (4 July) in a result set to bolster the country's pro-European credentials.

Mr Komorowski came first with around 53 percent, beating social conservative Jaroslaw Kaczynski, on 47 percent, according to the three main exit polls.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The 58-year-old historian, aristocrat and former anti-Communist activist is set to be inaugurated in mid-August to become Poland's fifth head of state since the fall of Communism in 1989.

The outcome is a victory for the younger, urban class of Poles in northern and western Poland, who have prospered over the past 20 years and who see the country's future in terms of further EU integration, market liberalisation and reconciliation with Germany and Russia.

Mr Komorowski backs the centre-right Civic Platform's plan to cut Poland's budget deficit to the EU limit of 3 percent of GDP by 2012, to press ahead with further privatisation and with a measured pace of entry into the eurozone.

The softly-spoken politician has also indicated he will follow Prime Minister Donald Tusk on foreign policy, such as pulling Polish soldiers out of Afghanistan, heralding a new period of stability in Polish politics after three years of head-butting between Mr Tusk and the late president Lech Kaczynski, Mr Jaroslaw Kaczynski's twin brother.

"Differences are normal. But I get the feeling that the pain of our division is too great. I am appealing for us to do everything we can to build not divisions, but a feeling of unity," Mr Komorowski said on Sunday, in recognition of the fact that almost half the country backed Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Mr Kaczynski congratulated Mr Komorowski, but noted that his own strong support bodes well for upcoming local elections and for the next general elections, due by autumn 2011, in the middle of Poland's chairmanship of the rotating EU presidency.

"There are so many [of our supporters], we can say, Poland has changed. Our task is to use this strength," he said. "To be conquered but not to yield - that is true victory. To conquer and to rest on one's laurels - that's a disaster," he added, quoting the historic Polish patriot Jozef Pilsudski.

The election was held following the death in April of Lech Kaczynski and 94 other Polish officials, many of them elite figures in the Kaczynski twins' Law and Justice party, in a plane crash in Smolensk, Russia.

Analysts said on Sunday that the Polish centre-left Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) could hamper the Civic Platform's economic agenda by calling in its political debt. In the second round, the SLD threw its support behind Mr Komorowksi.

Experts also warned that the Civic Platform could become prone to infighting after losing its common enemy in the figure of the veto-wielding, traditionalist late president.

MEPs to declare EU an LGBTI 'freedom zone'

The symbolic move is an attempt to buttress against right-wing governments' increased scapegoating of LGBTI people, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

Analysis

Relief in EPP group, as Orbán's party finally leaves

The debate over Fidesz had become an unbearable political burden on EPP - but it also represented a core dilemma for many centre-right, mainstream parties struggling to deal with their populist challengers.

EPP group moves forward to suspend Orban's Fidesz

MEPs are scheduled to vote on Wednesday to change the rules of procedure of the centre-right European People's Party parliamentary group to allow the suspension of a member party.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs call for full-scale election observers in Hungary
  2. Nato membership 'very unlikely' on her watch: Finland's PM
  3. Germany investigates Green leaders' Covid-bonuns
  4. Officials surprised by Macron's call for seperate EU-Russia talks
  5. Commission to withhold EU funds from Poland in mine row
  6. 'Patriotic millionaires' call for wealth tax at virtual Davos
  7. Borders must not be moved by force, Scholz warns
  8. MEPs demand public consultation on gas and nuclear

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Latest News

  1. Macron promises strong EU borders
  2. MEPs to crackdown on digital 'Wild West'
  3. Macron calls for new security order and talks with Russia
  4. Macron's vision will hit EU Council veto buffers
  5. Hydrogen - the 'no-lose bet' for fossil-fuel industry?
  6. Tomorrow MEPs can end EU animal export horror show
  7. An EU-Africa 'equal partnership' must tackle past and present
  8. Metsola becomes youngest EU Parliament president

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us