Polish President Narrowly Wins Reelection

On 12 July, incumbent president of Poland Andrzej Duda won reelection after a tight runoff.

This week Poland narrowly reelected incumbent president Andrzej Duda, who won 51.2% of the runoff vote according to Monday’s projection by the country’s National Electoral Commission. With record turnout, this was the slimmest winning margin in Poland since 1989 and the first EU member state to hold an election during COVID-19. It sets the stage for continued reforms that have put the country in political conflict with the rest of the European Union.

Andrzej Duda, a social conservative allied with the government led by the national Law and Justice (PiS) party, went against challenger Rafal Trzaskowski, a socially liberal mayor of Warsaw. Duda’s victory gives him five more years as head of state and sets the stage for implementing the PiS party’s agenda until the next parliamentary election in three years. While the Senate is occupied by the opposition, they are unable to stop bills proposed by the PiS which holds the majority in the lower chamber.

Much of the party’s anti-EU populist platform has been controversial with the rest of the EU. Such changes include overhauling the justice system and pursuing more political control of the local government and private media. According to analysis by BBC, “passing legislation to limit foreign ownership of critical private media is difficult under EU rules and risks antagonising Poland's chief ally, the US, as one of the country's most popular broadcasters.”

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How This Impacts Mobility

With such close results, the election represents the current political and social divide in Poland. Additionally, Poland being the first EU member state to hold an election during the COVID-19 pandemic means that the election will be reviewed by other members on holding an election during the pandemic. Further, any political and economic fallout from conflict with the EU will likely affect many people and businesses striving to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Should any member have questions regarding these results, please reach out to Vice President, Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.